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Passion for Pediatrics

Whitney Yahn is currently completing her third year of dental school at the University of Michigan. Originally from Hemlock, Mich., she attended Saginaw Valley State University where she pursued a degree in biology and chemistry, knowing all along that she planned to go to dental school.

During her undergraduate studies, Yahn was very involved in the Alpha Sigma Alpha sorority, which taught the importance of philanthropy and living a well-rounded life. Yahn was also involved with Special Olympics all throughout high school and college, where she learned about and developed a passion for the S. June Smith Center for children with developmental disabilities. This passion has continued on, as Yahn has decided to pursue a career in pediatric dentistry following her completion of dental school.

Prior to entering dental school, Yahn was unsure of her plans following dental school, but pediatric dentistry quickly took center stage. She said looking back now at her previous involvement with children, her choice seems to be an obvious match.

Yahn’s active involvement during her undergraduate studies continued during dental school, holding positions such as the president of the student chapter of the American Association of Women Dentists, co-chair of the school’s 2013 Give Kids a Smile Event, and secretary of American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry student chapter.

Yahn said she considers her parents a huge driving force behind her successes, as they are both extremely ambitious and successful in their own respective careers. Hers mother, Vickie, is a dental hygienist, and was an inspiration. Yahn said she saw how respected her mother was in her profession, as well as the affectionate way her mother’s patients responded to her. Yahn said it showed her how rewarding a career in dentistry could truly be. Although not a dental professional, her father, Daniel, also inspired her nonetheless.

“It is moving to see someone who is so driven and excels at what they love,” said. “My father is very determined in his career and in all things that he is passionate about, and he is also a tremendous leader.”

Yahn said both her parents positioned her for success and she appreciates everything they have done, including teaching her to give back and inspire others along the way.

Finally, Yahn is appreciative of the Mitus Scholarship to help offset the financial need that comes with dental school.

“I hope to continue on with my education after I graduate from dental school, and I know I will continue to incur even more cost in furthering my education,” she explained. “This scholarship is coming at the perfect time, as specialty applications open in a couple months and this just adds to the cost of education.”

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