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Vivian Long

1535

Bold Points

1x

Nominee

1x

Finalist

1x

Winner

Bio

Hello! I am an aspiring dentist currently attending dental school in Illinois. My interest in dentistry started in 2nd grade. For two years, I had more metal in my mouth than teeth, a headgear, and wires poking sores into my cheeks. I experienced firsthand how the smallest dental inconveniences can vastly affect daily life. As such, I aim to be a dentist that can help people live their best lives. I want to help people eat freely, talk effortlessly, and be proud of their smile. In college, I joined the board for my university’s Pre-Dental Organization. As the Community Outreach chair, I directed my club members towards volunteer opportunities. In addition, I organized donation drives, raising 900+ dental hygiene supplies for local homeless shelters in Santa Barbara. As President, I strove to provide an enriching club experience during the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic despite transitioning online. Currently, I attend Midwestern University in Illinois as a 2nd year dental student. In addition, I tutor international high school students, and I putter around a local boba shop, getting to know my new community while I make their favorite drinks. In my free time, I like making videos to document my life, and I just started dabbling in making polymer clay keycaps! With your support, I will be able to pursue my dream to be a dentist that not only helps her patients live their best lives, but also gives back to those who have helped her along the way. I want to be an asset to my community, peers, and supporters. Thank you for your time and consideration!

Education

Midwestern University-Downers Grove

Doctoral degree program (PhD, MD, JD, etc.)
2022 - 2026
  • Majors:
    • Dentistry

University of California-Santa Barbara

Bachelor's degree program
2017 - 2020
  • Majors:
    • Psychology, Other

Miscellaneous

  • Desired degree level:

    Doctoral degree program (PhD, MD, JD, etc.)

  • Graduate schools of interest:

  • Transfer schools of interest:

  • Majors of interest:

    • Dentistry
  • Planning to go to medical school
  • Career

    • Dream career field:

      Dentistry

    • Dream career goals:

      Dentist

    • Barista

      Daboba
      2023 – Present1 year
    • Private Tutor

      2021 – Present3 years
    • Data Entry Operator

      Dlintl LLC
      2016 – Present8 years
    • Dental Assistant

      Pacheco-Medina Dental Corporation
      2019 – 20212 years

    Sports

    Archery

    Club
    2014 – 20151 year

    Arts

    • Piano

      Music
      2002 – Present

    Public services

    • Volunteering

      UCSB Pre-Dental Organization — Community Outreach, President
      2018 – 2020
    • Volunteering

      Yeung & Yeung Dental — Intern
      2016 – 2016
    • Volunteering

      Arcadia Assisteens — Member, Volunteer
      2015 – 2017

    Future Interests

    Advocacy

    Volunteering

    Philanthropy

    Entrepreneurship

    Bold.org x Forever 21 Scholarship + Giveaway
    @crouchingviv
    I Can Do Anything Scholarship
    I want to feel happy and fulfilled, able to provide for my family while running a thriving dental practice supported by a strong patient community.
    Femi Chebaís Scholarship
    My goal is to become a dentist who helps her patients live their best lives. I want people to be able to eat freely, talk effortlessly, and be proud of their smile. My dream is to foster family-like relationships with my patients, where we can grow old together as I hear about the milestones they have achieved throughout their lives.
    William M. DeSantis Sr. Scholarship
    As cheesy as it sounds, I am learning to live my life because the future is not guaranteed. Let me explain. If someone asked me what my greatest skill was, I would say that I am a master at delayed gratification. Honed since I was a child, I never had an issue looking at the bigger picture to say no for a greater reward later on down the road. This skill has served me well in many aspects of life. Regretful impulse purchases? Nonexistent. Eating a kale salad to get ice cream for dessert? No problem. Choosing my studies over a hangout? Unfortunately, yes— but I got the grades I wanted. This way of thinking stayed strong until university. Despite the burnout and stress I experienced, I stubbornly held onto this vicious cycle of behavior believing that I would be rewarded for my efforts in the end. Alas, if only I knew it would take a worldwide pandemic to slap me over the head with a wake-up call. You see, the basis of delayed gratification is time and reward. Specifically, guaranteed time and reward. You see the big picture, you know (approximately) how long it will take to get the better reward, so you stick it out for the specified time until the reward is received. What I failed to note was the “guaranteed” part. Because delayed gratification had always worked as a child, my waiting times grew longer and longer to reach for a more anticipated reward. I acted as if my general timeline was inevitable, not one of many possibilities. The pinnacle of this maladaptation was my planned gap year between graduating undergrad and going to dental school. The goal was to graduate early, save up money, and fulfill part of my travelling bucket list. Spoiler alert— I got two-thirds of the way there. I struggled through overloaded schedules to graduate early with the prerequisites and experience I needed to apply for dental school. My light at the end of the tunnel was the highly anticipated Asia trip that I had planned with itineraries for three countries over the course of six weeks. And right as I approached the end of the tunnel, it caved in. For all of the burnout, all of the stress, the tears, the breakdowns, the “why-am-I-doing-this-to-myself,” there was no reward. Just emptiness and regret. And thus, I learned that the future is not guaranteed. While delayed gratification had served me, I took it too far. It became a restrictive lifestyle that negatively impacted my mental health. I was not living my life. I was sacrificing it for an unguaranteed future. Thankfully, with the slower pace provided by the pandemic, I was able to take baby steps in changing my mindset. Instead of saying, “No, maybe later,” I now say, “Yes, because if not now, when?” With a renewed focus on my life as a whole rather than my career path, I am focusing more on building stronger relationships with the people in my life and living for the moment. I am exploring my city and trying new hobbies because I can, not because it is a reward for a job well done. It is still a work in progress, but I feel lighter and happier with my lifestyle changes. More importantly, I feel kinder and more loving towards myself. Before returning home from university, a cherished mentor left me with one last piece of advice: “Live your life.” And to that mentor, I can confidently say that I am slowly beginning to live it, one “yes” at a time.
    Bold Growth Mindset Scholarship
    Since I was young, my family has always described me as resilient. It never mattered what life would throw; I would keep going. At first, I was taken aback. It never occurred to me that this could be a character trait, let alone one that people strongly identified me with. The more I thought about it, the more I realized that it had to do with my mindset and the way I tackle obstacles. When life gets tough, my optimism burns brighter, as if guarding against any potential stress. Additionally, my best distraction is action. For example, what baby steps could I be making now? If something does not work out, what did I learn from it anyway? After this situation blows over, what flavor ice cream should I treat myself to? These actions empower me to navigate and grow in all kinds of scenarios. This is how I have used my growth mindset, until recently. While applying to dental school, I felt an immense amount of pressure, fear, and failure while waiting months for any news. As the year dragged on with rejection after rejection, my mindset crumbled. I felt like the last five years of preparation meant nothing. My actions were fruitless. But then, my sister dropped me a lifeline: “It’s not over until it’s over.” It took her several repetitions for me to believe her, but with patience and good news extremely late in the application cycle, it slowly became my mantra. Turns out, my growth mindset needed some growth. While I had faith in my ability to act, I lacked faith in myself to stay strong in times of inaction. Now, I work my way through obstacles with action alongside a healthy dose of “it’s not over until it’s over” blaring an anthem in my head.
    Contributing to Smiles Scholarship
    Winner
    Having inherited large teeth from my dad and a small jaw from my mom, growing into my smile has been a struggle. In second grade, I was referred to an orthodontist to undergo Phase One, a treatment that adjusts the jaw and any bite problems in order to make room for permanent teeth. Suddenly, I found myself in a dentist chair surrounded by strangers cementing metal to my teeth while using strange jargon. Next thing I knew, I was being sent home with more metal in my mouth than teeth, a headgear, and wires poking sores into my cheeks. For weeks, I could not talk without a lisp, silencing my voice out of embarrassment. Food kept getting stuck in my expander, turning one of my favorite pastimes into a chore. Over the next two years, I wondered if I could stick a refrigerator magnet to my jaw— though, I never got around to trying it. However, this intensive experience played a pivotal role in fueling my interest and developing my goals as a future dentist. Several years later during my high school internship, I enjoyed observing my dentist interact with his patients. Despite running a fast-paced office, he always made time to sit down and chat with each of his patients, asking how they were doing and about any exciting events. Seeing him foster family-like relationships with his patients made me covet the same type of community in my future profession. I, too, would like to grow old with my patients and hear about the weddings, the graduations, and the milestones they have achieved. Towards the end of my internship, I met the patient who would unknowingly be instrumental in finalizing my commitment to dentistry. She was in her early 20’s, bright-eyed and happy to be off work early that day. She sat in the chair, answered questions, talked, smiled—nothing out of the ordinary. But when the exam started, I watched in horrified fascination as her entire bottom row of teeth tilted back and forth almost 45 degrees with each probe. The same repeated to the top row. Later, I was told that her bones could no longer support her teeth. They had tried to delay the inevitable, but her rapidly deteriorating condition left her no choice but to turn to dentures. As I sat there, I thought about the various foods she had to give up eating and the additional precautions she took while speaking. I empathized with the emotional and physical toll she must have endured with her condition. But I also thought about her future and how those dentures would give her the freedom to live her life without worrying about her teeth. From there, my life’s mission took root. I want to be a dentist that can help people live their best lives. Having personally endured the difficulties of my teeth feeling more like a burden than an aid, I want people to be able to eat freely, talk effortlessly, and be proud of their smile. While these may seem like stereotypical goals in this profession, I know how it feels to be restricted in all of these manners and how liberating it feels to be relieved of any worries. After receiving such amazing care as a child with results I continue to benefit from, I want to pay it forward. As such, it is my turn to help prevent these obstacles from hindering others. One day, I hope to improve my community's quality of life just as mine helped me.