Gabriel is an inspiring and upcoming Dental Student (D2) of Mexican heritage and student member of our organization. HDA is proud to present him as our next Face of HDA. He was born in a rural and proudly indigenous town called Teococuilco, in the state of Oaxaca, Mexico. His family moved to the US in 2006 when he was 11 years old. They currently reside in Landisville, NJ and he lives in Boston, Massachusetts where he attends Tufts University. Gabriel is a true inspiration for many. Motivated by the treatments he received, to correct a cleft palate and lip, and by every dental professional that passionately treated him, he decided at a very young age to pursue dentistry. Growing up with a cleft lip was extremely hard, especially in a town that lacked awareness of such birth defects. Mental health is very important to Gabriel, this is another reason why he “chose a field where he will be treating patients physically and empowering them mentally and emotionally”. Growing up in Mexico, he didn’t have the resources he currently has and for that he is thankful to his family for giving him and his siblings more opportunities, and a better lifestyle by immigrating to the U.S.A. Gabriel is very passionate about paying it forward. With both his passion for dentistry and his commitment to help the underserved, he hopes to bring awareness and mentorship opportunities to pre-dental students. Many members of his community have expressed the obstacles (financial, legal status, etc.) they face to receive dental/medical care. Gabriel is grateful for the support platforms provided to him, he would like to bring awareness to overlooked and underserved communities like farmworkers. Gabriel’s father was a farmworker for more than 20 years. Even as a child he recognized the injustices migrant/immigrant farmworkers face. He would like to be a source of inspiration and empowerment-Farmworkers are essential to our society, and this has proven more recently, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, and wildfires in Western states. He has already started to live this commitment, by performing outreach events in the State of New Jersey for farmworkers and other communities in need with the guidance of Dr. Manuel A. Cordero and his mentor at Tufts, Dr. Herman-Nieto.
Join us in recognizing Gabriel and wishing him future success – Thank you Gabriel!