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Meet the First Perkins Scholarship Winner

Giovanna Paulino, newly accepted Texas A&M freshman and Fort Worth native, is the winner of the Perkins Orthodontics Scholarship essay! In her essay, Paulino explains how the scholarship will help her achieve her goals of becoming a physical therapist and to one day open her own dance studio. A lifelong dancer, starting at the age of 3, Paulino says that dancers can often push themselves to the max; by studying kinesiology/dance science at Texas A&M, she hopes to promote positive body movement, and minimize any possible injury to dancers at her own studio. Paulino explains that dance can also take a mental toll, detailing abuse that she sustained from fellow dancers in toxic, competitive studio environments as well as a string of injuries that left her uncompetitive for a year.  

"It really brought me down, but I went to therapy and counseling, also I'm a Christian so I would read the bible. I would find verses that really spoke to me and lifted my spirits, so that eventually I found myself no longer identifying as a dancer but as a child of God"

Paulino is remarkably resilient, and her experiences motivate her to change the way that her own studio will operate. "I want my studio to be a community of dancers who help each other out and lift one another up," elaborates Paulino; a community similar to that of Perkins Orthodontics. 

"Dr. Spradley gave me braces when I was younger, and anytime I would go into the office I was greeted with a smile and my old nickname 'Gigi.' Hearing that nickname makes me so happy because only certain people call me that from my childhood. Usually, you dread going to the doctor but going to that office always made me so happy!"

So many congratulations to Giovanna Paulino as she heads to College Station in the fall. It is clear that she is ready to tackle any challenges that come her way with wisdom and the full support of the Fort Worth community at large.