Leneshia Haynes, a third-year dental student, received the 2018 Martin Luther King Jr. Student Leadership Award after being nominated by the Health Sciences Multicultural and Community Affairs office (HS-MACA). Haynes was selected for demonstrating King’s legacy in social justice and civil rights advocacy through distinguished civic, cultural or volunteer service and a commitment to education and community ideals espoused by Creighton’s mission statement.
A native Chicagoan and former post-baccalaureate student, Haynes is president of the school’s Student National Dental Association (SNDA). While excelling academically, she has organized such events as fitness boot camps, community outreach and fundraisers. She demonstrates an ability to work hard while also giving back to the community.
Leneshia hopes to change the face of dentistry by incorporating education on healthy living, prevention and awareness in the oral health care of underserved communities. Her passion for dentistry and its ability to transform patients’ lives motivates her.
“I became the change I wanted to see. At times it was not always easy, but like Martin Luther King, I was determined that if I could not fly I was going to run, and if I could not crawl I was going to keep moving forward, and there was not a chance that I was going to stop,” Haynes said.
“Leneshia is a very outgoing, driven and kind-hearted woman. As a mentor, she is a true inspiration with her hard work, passion for helping others, and dedication to dentistry. After witnessing her work at Creighton’s dental clinic, we know that Leneshia is going to make a phenomenal dentist,” reflected Chidi Ezeokoli, a member of the HS-MACA Post-Baccalaureate program. “She is caring toward her patients, attends to their needs, and takes her time educating her patients on oral health. We are so proud of Leneshia and wish her well in all of her future endeavors.”