#PhilanthropyFriday: Women in Philanthropy Launches Building Confident Smiles Program

Women in Philanthropy supporters play an active role in changing the lives of women and girls and their families in Northeastern Pennsylvania in transformational ways.

On Thursday evening, during the Women in Philanthropy Summer Meeting and Reception held at The Colonnade in Scranton, Scranton Area Community Foundation President and CEO Laura Ducceschi announced the launch of the Building Confident Smiles program, a brand-new pilot program supported by Women in Philanthropy that will improve access to restorative dental care for women. “The Building Confident Smiles program brings together many partners in the community with the goal of providing access to restorative dental care for uninsured or underinsured women in the region and aims to help these women build confidence and self-esteem and advance economically,” says Laura Ducceschi.

The Women in Philanthropy Building Confident Smiles program is a collaboration between many partners including Scranton Primary Health Care Center, Scranton District Dental Society, Outreach Center for Community Resources, Women’s Resource Center, United Neighborhood Centers of NEPA, Catherine McAuley Center, and Geisinger.

Women in Philanthropy Launches Building Confident Smiles Program

Photo (from left to right): Ellen Burkey, Scranton Area Community Foundation Board Secretary and Women in Philanthropy Advisory Circle Co-Chair; Linda Ciampi, Executive Director of Outreach for Community Resources; Vivian Williams, Building Confident Smiles Program Project Manager; Joseph Hollander, Scranton Primary Health Care Center Chief Executive Officer; Peg Ruddy, Women’s Resource Center Executive Director; Laura Ducceschi, Scranton Area Community Foundation President and CEO; Ida Castro, Scranton Area Community Foundation Board Member and Women in Philanthropy Advisory Circle Co-Chair; Lisa Durkin, United Neighborhood Centers of NEPA President and CEO. 

Women in Philanthropy engages active supporters in collective decision making to fund programs that foster transformative measures and move women to levels of personal empowerment and economic self-sufficiency. The Building Confident Smiles Program is one of many initiatives of Women in Philanthropy. 

To date, in addition to Building Confident Smiles, Women in Philanthropy has also provided STEAM education to over 2,000 students, provided capital in the form of micro-loans to launch 14 women-owned businesses, facilitated the financial education of over 120 low-to-moderate-income women, provided a $1 for $1 match to low-to-moderate-income women trying to build a savings, and convened over 80 presenters on topics related to community health and wellness.

During the pilot program, Building Confident Smiles will provide restorative dental care to local women through Scranton Primary Health Care Center (959 Wyoming Avenue, Scranton) beginning this August, funded through Women in Philanthropy supporters.

To learn how you can become involved as a Women in Philanthropy supporter, please contact us at 570-347-6203 or visit

Women in Philanthropy is an initiative of the Scranton Area Community Foundation.