Fresno teen was given a reason to smile

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- A Fresno teenager is smiling a little brighter after receiving a unique award.

Seventeen-year-old Rosa Espinoza was all smiles on Thursday when friends, family, and representatives from Smile for a Lifetime came together to surprise her.

The University High senior was selected by the Fresno - Clovis chapter of Smile for a Lifetime as the recipient of the orthodontic scholarship.

"We selected Rosa because she has a determination to work really hard. It hasn't been the easiest time for her here at University High School, she's challenged academically, but she chooses to stick it out and better herself," said Mischelle Diciccio, Smile For A Lifetime President

"I'm really excited. I was really nervous that I wasn't going to get it, so I'm really excited for it," said Espinoza.

Her mother, Margarita Rodriguez, said she was on pins and needles after learning the news. "I wanted to cry for her. It's something she had worked hard for and it was just a blessing that we got a phone call."

Every year the board awards free braces to 12 deserving kids working hard in school and making a difference in their communities. Espinoza said this gift means the world to her. "I'm really insecure about my teeth, and I really wanted this and my mom can't afford it, so I applied and, so I could win this and I'm really excited.

The senior even won the award on her birthday, making it an extra special gift. "The best birthday ever," she said.

A gift that will keep her smiling for a lifetime.
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