Invest In Me

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Supported by scholarships, aspiring dentist volunteers to care for patients in underserved communities

Marshall Adzima (B.S.’19/H&S) has known he wanted to become a dentist since he was in high school. He was injured playing soccer and required frequent visits with his dentist, which gave him a glimpse at what seemed to be a fulfilling career.

“I always had good experiences with my dentist, and dentistry seemed like a steady, secure field,” he says.

Adzima’s real passion for dentistry solidified once he enrolled atVirginia Commonwealth University. As a student in the VCU College of Humanities and Sciences and Honors College, he got involved with volunteer work providing dental care services to people experiencing homelessness in underserved communities.

“I wasn’t a dental student yet, but volunteering alongside dental students and seeing them give back to these communities was a big draw for me,” he says. “I wanted to give back, too.”

Thanks to several scholarships from the VCU Honors College — the Marcus and Carole Weinstein Honors Scholarship, the Jay and Sondra Weinberg Undergraduate Scholarship in Honors and the Caitlin Kremp Memorial Scholarship — Adzima had the financial security he needed to pursue meaningful service opportunities and other extracurricular activities in his free time.

“I was able to spend that time doing the things I love, like volunteering and participating in VCU’s Outdoor Adventure Program,” Adzima says. “I was even able to save money to put toward my graduate education. These experiences set me apart as an individual and, I believe, made me a standout applicant when I applied for dental school.”

Now a second-year student in the VCU School of Dentistry, Adzima still intends to focus on caring for patients in underserved areas in his future dental career.

“My ultimate career goal is to help others,” he says.