2 Fresno high school students are given a new reason to smile

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It was a special morning for twins Zaira and Jazmin Rodriguez, they'd just been awarded free braces. (KFSN)

Many Valley families consider braces for their kids as a luxury they simply can't afford. But it was a special morning for twins Zaira and Jazmin Rodriguez. Their mother was in tears as she watched her girls learn, they'd just been awarded free braces.

"Because it's an opportunity for me-- it's a once in a lifetime thing," said Zaira Rodriguez, Smile For a Lifetime recipient.

The Fresno/Clovis chapter of Smile For a Lifetime gives out dental scholarship every year. This time, members chose the Duncan Polytech High School students for their good grades and activities.

Jazmin said she often feels self-conscious about her teeth, "I feel like when I smile-- I just can't smile."

However, she feels braces will help her on the outside and the inside.

"I think it will bring my self esteem, it will make it higher."

Orthodontist Pat Diciccio will be treating the twins. He knows what a difference dental care can do for a person.

"The best way I can put it is, I was one of those kids in high school. I needed treatment and couldn't afford it, and I had an orthodontist took me under his wing and provide that level of service. And This is how we pay it back."

Paying it forward to two girls who couldn't be more thankful.

The twins are the second youngest in a family of six children. They plan to go college and work in the medical, military, or education fields in the future.

The Rodriguez twins are the 33rd & 34th recipient at of the Smile For a Lifetime awards.

The organization said they are always accepting applications online and are looking forward to helping more kids smile in the Valley.
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