essay contest optThe Hillsborough, NJ, orthodontic practice of Laurene Wolf, DMD, MSD, recently rewarded three local teens for their charitable efforts. As part of the practice’s fifth annual “Giving Smiles” essay contest, winners received donations to charities of their choice, while the first place winner also received complimentary orthodontic treatment.

During the month of February, the essay contest, held in conjunction with National Children’s Dental Health Month, invited children in kindergarten through 12th grade to submit a 500-word essay describing their charity work. The essays covered both large-scale projects and smaller personal acts of charity. A group of educators selected the winning essays.

The winners were announced in May.

Kimilla Deak, 13, won first place, receiving a $500 donation to St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital and $500 donation to the Human Society of the US. In addition, she will receive complimentary orthodontic treatment by Wolf.

The second place winner was Jessica Tallman, 14, who received a $750 donation to Ride4Erik, a group that supports families affected by pediatric cancer. Amanda Schimmel placed third and received a $500 donation to SAVE Annual Shelter in Princeton, NJ.

Wolf told a local news publication,, that she started the program as a way to recognize youth who are giving back to the community. The goal, she said, was to inspire others to give back to the community.