It was a really complicated subject on pregnancy, but the information provided on this website was accessibly written, accurate — and most importantly, available to anyone.
Operation Smile student volunteer Alex D’Souza remembers being impressed with such a wealth of knowledge made easy to understand and access. And it made her wonder: Why isn’t there something like this for cleft?
With the launch of Student Programs’ iSmile online platform in July, the second-year medical school student took the initiative to prepare a thoroughly researched but easy-to-understand series of three cleft education modules to help student volunteers worldwide become even better advocates for our patients.
“I think a lot of times we focus on fundraising or, you know, just the main treatment itself, but we’re not really actually taught a lot about it and all that it encompasses,” said Alex, who was the president of her undergraduate club at Western University. “So that was kind of the inspiration for the project.”
Alex, who’s considering a career as a cleft surgeon, said she hopes this resource is just the beginning for advocates worldwide: “I read this one quote somewhere, actually, which sounds kind of cheesy, but I thought it was a really good analogy compared to all this. And it was ‘Education doesn’t change the world. Education changes people, and people change the world.’ So I’m a big believer that, you know, sharing one thing with one person, it really creates a ripple effect.”