Colorado Rocky Mountain School seniors, Mima Strong and Olivia Mertz, started an Operation Smile Club on the CRMS campus in the fall of 2008. Operation Smile is a global organization that provides free surgeries to cleft -palate children around the world. Since its inception in 1982, Operation Smile has given over 135,000 children a new chance at life by providing them with safe, effective reconstructive surgery to correct their facial deformities. Utilizing all-school meetings as a platform to raise awareness surrounding this organization and bake sales as their key fundraising mechanism, their club enjoys 11 student members, has raised over $2,200, and has funded eight cleft -palate surgeries.
In August of 2009, Mima and Olivia attended an Operation Smile International Leadership conference in Norfolk, Virginia with 500 other students from around the world. This was the pair’s first step towards making an Operation Smile medical mission a reality. Then this past January they traveled to Norfolk one more time for a Mission Training Workshop with 25 other students. At this workshop, they learned what it means to go on an Operation Smile medical mission and that the primary role of a student is to educate the local community. Students on missions will meet hundreds of families and children every day at the hospital or in the local schools and orphanages. And that the students will have opportunities to give presentations on Dental Hygiene, Oral Re-hydration, Burn Care, and Nutrition. Students also spend time with children and families before their surgeries and after, and are even able to sit in on the medical surgeries.
Mima and Olivia just received the exciting news that they have been placed together on an Operation Smile Medical Mission in Cairo, Egypt in late March. They will be traveling with a student sponsor as well as a medical team for their ten-day journey.
For more information please go to www.crms.org/about/student-advocacy