Tiffany Curtiss, Dental Assistant Student at UEI College in Ontario, Awarded $5,000 Scholarship from Pacific Dental Services Foundation
[Ontario, CA] Tiffany Curtiss knows the power of a beautiful smile first-hand. In her youth, Tiffany’s family didn’t have the resources for her to get braces. “I was really self-conscious about my smile. It bothered me regularly,” she said. “I remember wanting to do something about it for the longest time, but I put that off.”
Unfortunately, braces weren’t the only thing that the Ontario, California native had to put on hold. Just days before her 18th birthday, Tiffany’s father passed away unexpectedly. Her mother had struggled with addiction and was incarcerated, so Tiffany took legal custody of her four younger siblings. She had long been a caretaker for them as the oldest sibling, but this was a whole new level of responsibility for the teenager.
“I was planning on joining the Marines when I turned 18, but I wasn’t comfortable leaving my siblings after our dad passed away. A couple days after his death, my family decided that I take my siblings, or they would be put up for adoption. I went to court and requested to be emancipated so I could legally take custody and try to give them a better life,” Tiffany said.