The Christie Foundation Scholarship Provides Future Dentist the Funds To Thrive

Ashley Cain
Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville

Ashley Cain was one of those rare children who actually enjoyed going to the dentist. Despite having four baby teeth pulled in 2nd grade, braces in 6th grade, and some pretty serious oral surgery in 7th grade, the smiley Mahomet native always looked forward to her trips to see Dr. Trautman. She was an avid teeth-brusher, never having to be reminded by her parents.

A self-admitted perfectionist and over-achiever, Ashley dreams of having her own family practice after her eight years of schooling are over. Her hope is to establish a practice that focuses on children, who she acknowledges are typically terrified of dentists.

“For many little kids, a trip to the dentist can bring tears and fear,” she admits. “I want to be the dentist that greets my young patients with a smile, not a scary mask.”

“I want to be a real person to my patients first, teaching them about the process, to make them comfortable. I want them to look forward to seeing the dentist as much as I did when I was young. I want them to love caring for their teeth.”

Ashley’s parents couldn’t be more proud of their daughter’s pursuits and dream. Named valedictorian of her Fisher High School class, Ashley is the first person in the entire Cain family to go to college.

The Christie Foundation’s role in making college a reality for Ashley actually brought tears to her mother’s eyes.

“I have worked since I was 16, saving every penny,” says Ashley. “Our family isn’t wealthy and the Christie Foundation scholarship made it possible for me to purchase a laptop for school – a necessity in today’s college world. Without it, the papers I write and the research I do would be so much more challenging to accomplish.”

“I am so grateful for the Foundation’s support.”

Ashley will spend four years at Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville, pursuing a BS in Biology. Her classes focus heavily on math and the sciences to prepare her to get into the competitive Alton School of Dentistry in southern Illinois. If she is one of the 50 students the elite school admits each year, she will study for another four years, this time focusing on dentistry. Then she will become Dr. Cain and hopes to hang up her family practice shingle, welcoming the first of her young patients.