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Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Operation Smile Year in Review

152 Medical Missions in 33 countries,

26,611 Free Physical Examinations


16,113 lives transformed.

And that's only those who received surgery.

Thousands and thousands of volunteers from over 60 different countries came together this year to make these missions possible. I was fortunate enough to be one of those. I can testify thousands of hearts were transformed. Not physically by any means of an operation- but by a simple smile.

And that's only the mission volunteers.

700+ student clubs all around the world coming together to raise awareness and hundreds of thousands of dollars. 

We had our annual OpSmile International Student Leadership Conference. Over 400 driven students from 16 different countries around the world who commenced at a new school year to further these efforts.

Another excellent Executive Leadership Council began their term to lead a new year off for Student Programs, as well as a newly formed College Council to develop and sustain University Programs

A new student-started initiative called Millions reaching Millions hoping to raise $1,000,000 and 1,000,000 Smile Bag supplies to completely run a student-sponsored medical mission.

And that's only students.

Millions of dollars raised by corporate donors, families, service groups, clubs, fundraisers and generous citizens who hope to heal humanity so that thousands of innocent babies, children, teenagers and even adults could receive a simple surgery for a second chance at life. 

This is just a cumulation of the selfless work of hundreds of Operation Smile employees, hundreds of thousands of volunteers, millions of dollars, and one dream, one purpose, one goal.

And that's only 2010.

A  happy and healthy new year to you.
Here's to another beautiful and life-changing year.
Thank you for  your readership, your love, your support, your generous donations and your choice to Be the Change.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Jordan Mission!

My  heart goes out to OpSmile Jordan this week as they carry out their first international mission since mine in February. I miss you all so much, pray and think of you every day, and wish I was there to help all our friends! Please eat soooo much Kobiz and Homos and K'nafa and maybe even eat at the awful Peking restaurant:) I heard it just rained there this week- that makes me so happy "Rain is a blessing" :) Yes, I still remember!!

Khaled- I expect some major "documentation" !!! :)

Shukran and Good Luck!!


Saturday, December 4, 2010

This week...

I met Dawson at ISLC '08, it was both our first time at the conference. I actually didn't meet Daws until the last day of our conference (actually at the time I thought he was slightly weird and didn't know his name so had him as "Riverton Kid" in my phone) :) Anyways, since then I have seen the "Transformation of Life" that is stated in the Operation Smile mission statement in both of us as we have both journeyed in different adventures yet on the same path. It has been an  absolute blessing to witness such a phenomenon in another humans life.

Many times this week I've been asked if I feel jealousy or if I wish I was there. To be honest, (thanks to another friend's help), I realized that I really wasn't jealous of Daws and I don't wish I was in India this week... [Actually I am definitely thinking a lot more of my own mission as there is the first International Mission in Jordan (!!:)) this upcoming week since mine.. I am feeling pangs of homesickness and longing to be able to see those children and volunteers I fell so deeply in love with last February.. yet so much happiness because I know they are in good hands:).. 

But, I am actually feeling so much gratitude and happiness as I've been stalking his blog and seeing his Facebook posts. It is a different feeling to be able to watch from the outside someone you know and care about receive such an outstanding gift and blessing. It  has been an honor to be able to watch Dawson (and others!) prepare and experience the same life-changing missions we are on. It is so rewarding to know that I have played a part, no matter how small or menial, in this part of life for many that will continue to bless and lead in the future. 

2010-'11 ELC/CC
I feel that this is probably one of the most incredible parts of my involvement in Operation Smile. I've been able to firstly, experience for myself the joy and passion I feel for this cause, then be a first-hand witness in it's effects in helping change people's lives, forever- and in doing so see mine change as well. Then, I've been able to meet so many driven individuals who have similar goals as I do and watch them go through the same things I've been through.. the same trials, successes and that 'moment' where you know that your passion lies in something so strongly that you want to do all you can to further that work and let others feel the same enthusiasm and love you do. It's just a continuous cycle.. and for that I will forever be in debt to Student Programs and the Magees for allowing such a little kid like me to have these experiences.

Did  you know, that this blog has a mission statement? 
B-town to A-town's mission is:
 To inspire, motivate, and drive others to do their best in creating smiles worldwide by becoming a resource to students, the community, and the world. B-town to A-town hopes to raise awareness about the global organization Operation Smile, promote Operation Smile Student Programs, and help further others involvement and passion for the cause by serving as support and a resourceful guide to their success.

That is my goal through my blogs and involvement- to be able to help and serve as a resource to others to help build their skills, knowledge and love  so that they they too, may be able to find in this or anything else, the things in life that mean the most to them. I feel that if I've been able to help even one student, it makes all the countless hours of posting, editing, linking, researching and formatting that I've invested in blogging-- completely and absolutely worth it, because it means that it has helped me in reaching and fulfilling my vision. That, in and of itself brings me the same rewards as if I were there-- in India, in Jordan, in the Philippines.. anywhere!

So, with that being said. I am so thankful for all the students who have been on mission, going on missions, and especially for this batch of upcoming kids attending WMTW in Virgina. Unfortunately, I won't be leading this training, but will still be there in spirit hoping that I can help them reach their potentials and be a service unto them. I am not jealous (to a certain degree;) about these missions, but I am grateful that I get to help others just like those inspirational individuals who have helped me on my journey before me. I am SO grateful to be in leading in the capacity of a member of the Executive Leadership Council and having so many more opportunities to help me reach my goals and ambitions.

Ahh. I just love OpSmile.. What more is there to say? :)

Monday, November 29, 2010

The Superboys are in INDIA!

My amazing friend Dawson Oler is officially in INDIA for his mission! 

Daws and I with the Magees! :)

WOW I am SO excited for him. Daws and I have been friends since my first ISLC in '08. Since then, he himself has started a club at Riverton High, and as a result of that a few other clubs have popped up. I look up to Dawson so much in all he does. He recently was the one who got John Lefler at the Benefit Concert we had!!

Dawson is awesome, and his blog is also awesome! Please follow him and his mission partner, Kyle Sevel from Florida as they embark on another SUPER MISSION to Guwahati! In case you didn't know, the State of Amman is trying to be the first cleft-free state. There are thousands and thousands of people that are affected by them, and so we have much to do. I am so excited for these two outstanding guys to have the most life-changing experience of their lives.
The Trio opening their assignment! :) 
(ps: had to do some crazy facestalking to get this pic.. it would be easier if you would just tag yourselves in pics!! Haha;)

Good luck boys! Go get 'em!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

This is a video that I love-- no matter our views on faith, there is no question that there is much for which to be grateful for! :)

There is SO much to be thankful for this year, especially considering the amazing year journey of so many things that happened in the course of my last 12 months. We are so blessed to live in a world where there is much thanks AND giving. What an opportunity we have to come together to fight injustice. I am so thankful for the chance I've had to be a part of something so much bigger than anything we could imagine. I am so grateful for you, your kind and uplifting comments, your success, your drive and your actions to be the change you wish to see in the world. I am so grateful for your readership and support. Thank you so much for all you have given me, all over the world!

"Regardless of our circumstances, each of us has much for which to be grateful if we will but pause and contemplate our blessings" 
-Thomas S. Monson

Hope that today, you and your families, friends and loved ones have a day full of love and joy. I hope that we can all recognize our blessings and those things in our lives that bring us happiness. Thank you so much, and have a very happy thanksgiving from me to you, wherever you are!

Much Love, Shukran!!


Saturday, November 20, 2010

ISCE (the former ISLC)

In case you haven't heard, we are officially going to BEIJING, CHINA for ISCE next August!

"Wait..." you're wondering.. "Did she just say isCE??" 


A change that has been made this year to our yearly conference is the name! Since we have never been in China, we wanted to better reflect the Chinese culture within out conference and therefore, ISLC will be called ISCE this year! ISCE stands for "International Student Cultural Exchange". As StudPro Staff and ELC, we have lovingly embraced it with a nickname-- "ICE". So get pumped and be sure to tell everyone about this change! 

If you have not done so already, please visit the ISCE WEBSITE for more information and blog posts that will be updated regularly. As more information becomes available, it will be put on this website. If you're remotely interested about receiving information or hesitant about attending, take thisshort survey to gain a better understanding and receive some more information! 

Early registration (Early December - Jan. 31)

Who: All High School and University age students, as well as adult sponsors-- no previous involvement with OpSmile Required! 
When: August 1-7, 2011
Where: Beijing, China-- Beijing Normal University and Marriott
  • All participants except those traveling from Asia: $1,300 (includes airfare, hotel, offsite activities like the Great Wall, Tienanmen Square and the Forbidden City!, food, the conference fee and more!)
  • Participants traveling from Asia: $800
  • Participants from China: $500 (excludes airfare)

Get PUMPED for an incredible conference. So much has been done already to plan a successful experience for all involved! 
Can't wait to see you there on MY team;)

NOW is the Time.

Visit me HERE to read my past experiences with ISCE!!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Benefit Concert

Utah Operation Smile Student Programs is holding our very first 

John Lefler

and local Utah artist 

What: Benefit concert for Operation Smile
When: Friday, October 22, 2010
7:00 pm
 doors open at 6:30
Where: Davis High School Auditorium, 
Kaysville, Utah
Cost: ONLY $5!
WhyTo raise awareness and funds to Change lives, one smile at a time!
Read about it here

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Suddenly I See*

My absolutely incredible friend Claire posted this on her Facebook tonight- It made me smile so big!!

40-45 Minutes...

A New Chance.

Just look at her eyes.

Just look at their eyes...

and you will see too.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

What Makes You Smile?

In 12 days, on October 1st, we will be celebrating the World Smile Day! (No really, it's actually a legit day.. They even have a website!!)

Which brings me to my question, 
What makes YOU smile??

Last year I asked my school what makes them smile, and they responded with a few answers:
My Bio teacher

In honor or Btown's 22nd consecutive win over cross town rival, WX last night!!
22-17 :)

Ireland and South Africa make ME smile! :D
So, tell me- what makes YOU smile??

You can download the "What Makes You Smile?" page off of the WMYS Blog on OSCENTRAL

Print one off (or 2 or 30), ask your friends and family and send me a picture for a chance to be highlighted on my blog  on World Smile Day! 

Deadline is September 29th.

Email all photos to

Get creative and share your smile!

Friday, September 17, 2010


One of my most esteemed and beloved friends Andrea is in Madagascar this week. I've mentioned to you before about her mission blog but if you haven't put it on your stalk list or Google Reader.. do it.. NOW!

"Some things you can't express in words, though. Some things only your eyes sing, only your heart shines. And those are the things I've been blessed enough to experience here. -A capacity for love I never knew possible. Love for their children, love shown towards me, the kindness in their being." - Leave a Legacy

She is one of the most beautiful girls I've ever met-- inside and out. Her blog is a journalistic approach to the life-changing experience she is having in Madagascar. Please follow!!

More posts to come soon... !

Tuesday, August 31, 2010


My good friend Lauren (the most inspirational, genuine and accomplished young woman in Utah) told me about this organization called FugeesFamily today. They are a group who are devoted to helping children of war. They are a nonprofit organization who works to help children heal and meet others like themselves. They "cater to the victims of the worst disasters who decide to be survivors" - Lauren Biada

I don't know a lot about this organization yest, but I do know that it is a worthy and good cause that is helping heal injustices in the world around us. Lauren told me about a book called "Outcasts United" by Warren St. John who is a reporter for the NY Times. His book is about these refugee projects and the first chapter begins with Amman, Jordan.

Obviously this cause tugged at my heartstrings. I had the opportunity to spend time in a refugee camp while in Jordan and I will tell you, it is a horrific and sad sight. These are just a few of the pictures I took while there. These refugees have been there for hundreds of years. Those who choose a way out and on to a better life deserve this. Please, join me in a plea to stop and heal those injustices in the world. Take a chance to Be the Change.

1) Click HERE to access the Kohls Campaign 
Then vote for the Fugee Academy to get half a million dollars to build the first school in America for refugees. 

2) Spread the word! 
I know you can, I've seen it done with Operation Smile when we won $250,000 earlier this summer in the Members Project. The beauty of this blog is that I know everyone who reads it is in some way helping create a better tomorrow because of their love, commitment and desire to be a part of something bigger than themselves. You are someone who wants to help the world in any way you can. Please, this is your chance again.

3) Smile! 
You helped take the first step to change those things in the world that need changing.

***Want to see more photos of the refugee camp I visited in Jordan? Visit this link***

Monday, August 30, 2010

Smiling South of the Border

This week is a very special week as far as student missions go.

The first mission is in Tlaxcala, Mexico where Arielle Sasson and Alexandria Spiegel are spreading love and joy and smiles from August 26th to September 1st. I am so excited for Arielle especially because she has been waiting a veryyy long time for her mission with a little bit of heartbreak in between. 

(l-r) Arielle, and another amazing student- Julia

Here's the story: (as far as I know and have heard)
When I left MTW in Virginia, I had a different mission partner- Sasha. Because of some things that happened, Sash had to be reassigned to another mission. Hence, Lisa & Taylor, Sasha & Arielle. (She had been assigned a 'Mystery Mission' at MTW) WELL, those two girls got a mission to China the first week of August and on the way to the airport, Arielle had an allergic reaction  to the shots that she was required to get and was unable to go! Ahh! Yeah, I know. I would  have cried. So Arielle is FINALLY on her mission to Tlaxcala and I am SO happy for her and Alexandria!

Visit their blog,
to follow their mission!

Sam, Fran and Lisa Downy with their sponsor Suzanne Unger, ready to go! :)

The next mission is in Fortaleza, Brazil where my two good friends Samantha DeVito and Frannie Coxe are! Both are exemplary, funny, sweet and talented girls. I absolutely love them both! While I had the very FIRST mission, Sam and Fran have the very LAST mission from WMTW '10 so they are finishing off the group! We are all so excited for them. They  have been preparing for 7 1/2 months for this to finally happen!! And after some minor flight dilemmas, they are in Brazil now! Congrats girls, we love you!!

Sam and her twin sister, Deanna 

Sam DeVito could quite possibly be the most prepared and pumped student volunteer that Operation Smile has ever seen. She has had her donations, presentations and bags packed since MARCH. .... WHO DOES THAT?!?!? For real. She is just phenomenal and inspires, motivates and drives me to be better, daily. 

Follow Sam's blog on OSCentral
Frannie's blog: 

Good luck girls!

Sunday, August 29, 2010


Weekly Planners! 

Student Programs is having a Planner Campaign for the month of  September.

These planners are specific to Operation Smile because inside it includes over 30 pages of fundraising and service ideas, tips on how to effectively plan your year and strengthen your club, Annual checklists and important info/dates from Student Programs!

The planners are a great resource for anyone, as planning is a crucial aspect of success

"He who fails to plan, plans to fail"

Planners are available to purchase for $10 each
$8 for 10 or more
$6 for 20 or more

Look how happy I look when I'm planning with OpSmile!! :D

I have a limited supply with me that I would LOVE to send your way!! Please leave me a comment if you are interested in purchasing student planners for your friends, family, club members, a quick and easy fundraiser, or even just for yourself! 

From another state or another country? 
I got-chu covered! There are ELC members all across the country who are also part of this campaign, I will get you in touch with them.

Students in the 300+ clubs all over the country and more all over the world raise over 
annually for Operation Smile! Let's plan to have another great year to spread the smiles!