Scholarship grants high schooler free wisdom teeth removal and $500 toward education

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YANKTON, S.D. (KELO) – They say that saving up for college can sometimes feeling like pulling teeth. A local dental practice in Yankton wants to make that easier for families.

Like many kids his age, 17-year-old Noah Gilbertson is gnawing at the chance to get a good scholarship going into college.

“There’s a few schools I’ve been looking at here and there I’ve been looking at,” Gilbertson said.

Then, one day he and his mother found one he could really sink his teeth into.

“I ended up typing up an essay about… having a problem as a kid with dentistry and what not as my main focus for my essay and it helped me win, I guess,” Gilbertson said.

He submitted that essay to Siouxland Oral in Yankton for a chance to win their ‘Wisdom for Wisdom’ scholarship. They started it this year due to economic uncertainty left in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We figured that a lot of people would not have stable jobs, not have good income… and a lot of college students couldn’t have an income to prepare for college,” Miller said.

Doctor Denis Miller says out of over 100 submissions, 5 students were picked to have their wisdom teeth removed for free. The students also received $500 to go toward their future education.

“They can either spend it on their tuition, their books supplies or whatever they want so that they can get a head start that, maybe, they wouldn’t have had that kind of head start if we didn’t help out,” Miller said.

Gilbertson says this will help as he is responsible for paying off his tuition. He is the last student to receive the scholarship for this year.

Gilbertson before his surgery.

“I wasn’t really expecting to win, but… so, it’s pretty cool that I was able to win it,” Gilbertson said.

He may be losing his wisdom teeth, but with a steady education, he’ll only grow wiser.

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