By Belen Edwards & Giselle Rivard
Jordan Wimbish created her nonprofit LJ Smiles while at Learnserve, a program that promotes social entrepreneurship. LJ Smiles is “a venture that aims to provide oral hygiene information and supplies for children around 10,” Wimbish explains. She came up with the idea when, while realizing that her braces hurt, she recognized that there are many areas of the world that are not as fortunate to have the same level of oral hygiene as she does.
Originally, Wimbish wanted to work in poorer areas of her hometown of Washington, DC, as “there is a strong correlation between low income and low oral hygiene.” However, she decided to broaden the scope of her project to Zambia, where she went over the summer as a part of the Learnserve program.
During her trip, Wimbish provided toothbrush kits to the children at the Mulambu school. She taught them the benefits of oral hygiene and helped them learn how to better brush their teeth. Originally, Wimbish says that the kids chewed nuts to clean their teeth, but after her visit, the kids were using their new toothbrush kits. She also says that “A lot of them thought that when the toothpaste ran out, they couldn’t brush their teeth anymore. I taught them that they could still use water.”
Ultimately, Wimbish’s experience was very meaningful to her, and she plans to continue sending toothbrushes to Zambia through Learnserve, furthering her venture during the months to come.
Written by students at WIS