My life was recently changed by the AAPPF. While attending the 2019 AAP conference, Dr. Bob Vitas called and informed me I was the 2019 recipient of the Dr. and Mrs. Gerald Kramer Scholar Award for Excellence. Everything I had been through in my personal and professional life have led me to this moment. It has been a long and cumbersome journey which has enriched me with life changing experiences.
I was the youngest of 9 children and only 11 when my mother lost her battle with breast cancer. Simultaneously, I was motherless and facing Saddam Hussein’s brutal regime. The constant bombing and gun fire of the Iraq War and lack of electricity made it difficult to focus on my education but I was determined to succeed. Despite these challenges, I received one of the 10 highest university entrance scores in Iraq and a dental scholarship from the University of Jordan. While in Jordan my father passed away and I was left an orphan at 19. After graduation, I couldn’t practice dentistry in Jordan or return home. With no foreseeable opportunities, I applied and was granted a resettlement visa to the United States.
The United States offered me safety and opportunity, but also the challenge of needing American medical credentials. After my second dental school graduation from Virginia Commonwealth University and completing my periodontics residency at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, I was struck by the improbability of my journey. An orphan boy from Iraq making good on a promise to his parents to be anything he wanted to be. Now I practice in Burlington, Vermont, and teach part-time at the University of Vermont Medical Center.
The AAPF Kramer Award validated my hard work and commitment to the field of periodontology. I hope you share my excitement about the AAPF 30th anniversary and donate any amount you can. Your donation will help support the AAPF mission and their support of young periodontists, such as myself, who will become future leaders in our profession.
Thirty years ago, a visionary group of leaders determined that in order to preserve the specialty of periodontology and ensure its heritage of science and evidence-based practice, a foundation should be formed. For the past three decades, the AAP Foundation has upheld this legacy, and has grown to become synonymous with education, research, and excellence. To date, more than $5 million dollars has been awarded to more than 200 recipients who represent some of the brightest minds and most capable leaders in the field today.
To celebrate this milestone, we've set a goal to raise $240,000 this year to secure the future of the Foundation, and we need your help! The AAPF is challenging each of the eight AAP districts to raise $30,000.
Support the AAP Foundation and help your district win the 30th Anniversary Giving Challenge with your gift today! The AAP district with the highest dollar amount given by the Foundation's birthday, November 19th, 2020, will win. We also truly value participation, so the district with the highest percentage of participation will receive special recognition as well.
The winning district will receive:
- A special ribbon for district members to wear at the Annual Meeting
- Recognition on the Foundation booth, website, and social media
- Special recognition at the Donor Appreciation Reception
- A commemorative lapel pin for every district donor of $30 or more
- Bragging rights!
Donors of $300 or more will receive a commemorative AAP Foundation 30th Anniversary travel mug.
Donors of $3,000 or more will be recognized in the AAP Foundation's 30th Anniversary Society and receive an invitation to the AAP Foundation Donor Appreciation Reception at the AAP Annual Meeting.
Student donors of $30 will be recognized at the Student level of the 30th Anniversary Society.