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GKAS Community Leadership Development Institute

Give Kids A Smile Community Leadership Development Institute

Launched in 2011, the Give Kids A Smile® Community Leadership Development Institute offers a unique opportunity for GKAS program coordinators across the U.S. to share best practices, explore outreach enhancements, and learn new approaches to providing dental care to America's underserved children.

Click here to read a Q and A with Dr. Megha Sata, a Give Kids A Smile Ambassador and member of the Give Kids A Smile National Advisory Committee. 

Canceled: The 2021 GKAS Leadership Institute

Unfortunately, due to COVID-19, the 2021 Give Kids A Smile Leadership Institute has been canceled. We plan to continue the program in 2022.

Each year, we award up to ten travel grants to a select group of applicants – called GKAS Ambassadors -to enable them to attend a three-day training session in St. Louis, where Give Kids A Smile began. Group discussions are complemented by the chance to see a well-developed program in action, and the ability to interact with volunteers, organizers, parents, and kids. These GKAS Ambassadors then go on to serve as regional resources for other GKAS programs in their communities.

The Give Kids A Smile Community Leadership Development Institute is sponsored by generous donations from Henry Schein, Inc. and Hu-Friedy.

How to Become a GKAS Ambassador

Due to the cancellation of 2021’s Give Kids A Smile Leadership Institute, we will not be accepting Ambassador Applications. We plan to continue the program in 2022, and will share updates about the program and application process on this page.

Eligibility Requirements

To be eligible for the Give Kids A Smile Community Leadership Development Institute, you must meet the following requirements:

  • Applicants must represent an organization that provides oral health care for underserved children through a Give Kids A Smile event, including state (constituent) and local (component) dental societies of the ADA and/or community based organizations.
  • Applicants must reside within the 50 U.S. states.
  • Applicants should have experience managing/chairing an access to care event.
  • Applicants should hold a position in their organization that will allow them to effectively implement lessons learned during the GKAS Institute.
  • Applicants are not required to be a licensed dentist or hygienist.

Find Give Kids A Smile ambassadors and events near you on the Action for Dental Health Map. View Map