Mrs. Joyce McKenzie – 2017 Gini Award Honoree for Volunteer Excellence

SCL Volunteer Joyce McKenzie

“Excellence” is an understatement when describing Joyce McKenzie’s contribution to the mission of Smiles Change Lives. She began her volunteer service in the summer of 2011. Since then, Joyce has donated over 1600 hours of service, unprecedented in the history of SCL’s volunteer program. In 2013 Joyce was honored with the coveted Gini Award that recognizes individuals who go above and beyond in their service to SCL. This year, as SCL celebrates its 20th anniversary, we initiated the “Volunteer Excellence” award. With her exceptional work ethic and professionalism, it is only fitting that Joyce is honored as its first recipient.

What compelled you to volunteer for SCL?

“When I first discovered SCL, it sounded like a very worthwhile organization, and I decided to give it a shot. Volunteering means even more than I had hoped for when I began at SCL. Being part of such a productive, successful process gives me great pleasure and a sense of accomplishment. I’d encourage others to become involved in SCL so they too can help to literally change lives.”


Tell us about yourself

“For 27 years I taught at the 2nd and 5th grade level for the Independence, MO school district and I loved my job. I felt it was a wonderful way to be involved in the shaping of the lives of our young people. It was a very fulfilling experience.

Since retiring in 2000, my husband Dallas and I share many interests with the typical retirees; we love to travel and have enjoyed many wonderful trips both domestically and internationally. We strive to stay physically fit by walking and riding bicycles. And, of course, we spend as much time as possible with our daughter, son in law and grandkids, plus the rest of our extended family.”

Since Joyce joined our team in 2011, over 6,000 children have either completed orthodontic treatment or are currently being treated through the SCL program. A large part of our success is due to remarkable individuals like Joyce who donate their valuable time to SCL’s “Smile Support” volunteer team. We simply could not do what we do without them.


“I cannot say enough wonderful things about our stellar volunteer – Joyce.  She is so reliable; I can set my watch by her! Joyce has an incredible attention to detail which is so very helpful to our organization.  Joyce arrives at our office every Wednesday and spends the entire day helping us process applications, and making sure our filing system is in order.  Then, if she’s caught up, she’ll ask what she can do next to assist us.  I really don’t know what we would do without her never-failing support of Smiles Change Lives!” – Lisa A. Shepard, Executive Director of Administration

We thank Joyce with all our hearts for her continued service to Smiles Change Lives!




Changing Lives… One Smile At A Time...
  • "Our son would have gone without braces if it wasn't for SCL! Thankful for this program and staff that care. We are currently in treatment. It is already making a difference. "

    - Alice W.

    5 star review
  • "Amazing program that has truly changed my life. Once I was accepted it was such an easy process. Thank you so much!! I would recommend any one with low income and bad teeth to go through the process."

    - Alexandria W.

    5 star review
  • "Just had our last appointment. Being a school teacher I didn't make a lot of money. This program allowed me to give my daughter a smile that she shares with everyone. Thanks."

    - Tiffany L.

    5 star review
  • "I just had not one but two daughters finish having their braces on through Smiles Change Lives and we are so happy with the results. Thank you for providing this service!"

    - Daya G.

    5 star review
  • "This is an incredible organization with Orthodontists donating their skills to change children's lives. More people in need should know about this fantastic program"

    - Judith W.

    5 star review
  • "My son has finally been accepted, approved, and assigned an orthodontist. He goes tomorrow for his first appointment to start getting his braces. Thanks SCL, you have made my son very happy."

    - Alan P.

    5 star review
  • "I am so thankful for smiles change lives for helping a struggling mother out. What an amazing program that helps families."

    - Joy S.

    5 star review
  • "I cannot say enough GREAT things about this program! They have given both of my daughters a new outlook on life, & self confidence that I could never teach."

    - Shelly P.

    5 star review

apply for braces footer
SCL provider login

smiles change lives logo footer

Smiles Change Lives
Helps Families Across the
United States & Canada

smiles change lives helps families with the cost of braces

3m braces official sponsor
© 2017 Smiles Change Lives is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.
Designed by
smiles change lives facebook smiles change lives youtube smiles change lives twitter smiles change lives instagram smiles change lives pinterest

Do you qualify for the SCL program? Find out now