If you have trouble believing you can change a life by fixing a smile, ask Markus G., who came to the Ben Massell Dental Clinic (BMDC) in the fall of 2013 with serious teeth and gum issues. Soon enough, it became clear he had other challenges in his personal life. He realized counseling services were another service available to BMDC patients and reached out to the JF&CS social worker there.
Indeed, the breadth of services is one of the advantages of being part of a larger umbrella. Clients who come for one reason often end up getting help for others.
Ashley Semerenko began working with Markus in early 2014. She continues to meet with him each week.
“I provide support for any patients who might need a little extra help or who just want to talk to someone,” Ashley said. “Markus works so hard in our sessions together. He’s really engaged and determined to make changes in his life, and that can be hard.”
Markus, who refers to Ashley as his “best friend,” said she helps him get through many challenges. “It’s just amazing how my self-esteem has improved by getting the proper counseling. I credit Ashley for allowing me to recover.”
Ashley smiled. “It’s very humbling to think that maybe I helped somebody get onto a different path that will change his life for the better.”
With nearly 150 volunteer dentists, Ben Massell is the only resource for comprehensive, quality dental care available at no cost to Atlanta’s neediest population.
For more information or to volunteer, visit our website. We’re always looking for dentists as well as administrative volunteers. benmasselldentalclinic.org.