Teens need mentors, parents need answers, and doctors need to better connect with the challenges and triumphs of their patients.

To address this, Operation Smile is creating an outlet for teens who were born with a cleft to build friendships, hear from guest speakers, and engage in conversation and reflection. Adult supporters, such as medical professionals and parents and volunteers, are welcome to listen in.

From Panel to Platform

During our International Student Leadership Conference in 2017, student volunteer Brady Hishmeh shared his story of having a cleft condition. Brady invited his peers with a cleft to join him on stage, and they all answered questions from the hundreds of participants gathered to support Operation Smile.

What was a presentation has turned into a platform.

Every year since 2017, we’ve invited our treasured community of students and supporters born with cleft to share their perspective during our conferences. We love hearing from them, and we’re honored they use our platform as a way to give back to our patients worldwide.

And now we’re devoted to bringing our community together virtually via our regular Cleft Connect Chats.

Join our Community

We’re launching a regular virtual gathering for members of our community ages 13 to 18. This is an opportunity to connect, collaborate and hear from keynote speakers. In the future, we’d like to introduce breakouts and mentors. As “Cleft Connect” grows, we would like to offer forums for parents and medical professionals.

Our next gathering will be from 8:00 – 9:00 p.m. ET on Sunday, December 5. Register here or at https://bit.ly/cleftconnect1205.

Our next meeting dates soon!