What inspired you to become a dentist?
My father. He is a dental lab technician. I used to watch him work all the time. Saw how he made people feel great about their smiles.
Tell us about your dental practice.
I have been in practice now for over 20 years. I love what I do. We do so much fun stuff. We have a large pediatric dental practice but we are not a pediatric dental office. I guess that’s a testimony of parents trusting me with their children. We provide invisible braces and your traditional wired braces. We change silver fillings to white fillings. We offer non-metal crowns and partials. We also do comprehensive make overs with Botox and Juvaderm.
How did you get the opportunity to go to Africa annually to serve a population that is without resources to have proper dental care?
My brother Dr. Walter Walters (a medical doctor) and I have always had the passion of giving. As we look back over our lives, there was always someone who took the time out to mentor, encourage or simply uplift us. My mother is an educator, so she always showed and taught us value and diversity. With that in our genetics, we came up with an idea. We took our own money and resources and invited doctors to come join Volunteers 4 Humanity. We chose Lira because we have family in Uganda. They showed us the need and we came. To be honest, and no disrespect to White doctors around the world that put time and effort in aiding underprivileged, it was very refreshing that the people of Uganda got to see doctors who look like them. They had so many questions about being an African-American .
How can people support the mission in Africa?
Go to Volunteers 4 Humanity and go to our website.
“Coach Walters” is what some may call you. Your schedule is demanding, but you find time to coach basketball for two teams. What keeps you motivated in staying so committed to the youth?
I am in a fraternity called Omega Psi Phi. For years, I sat as the chair for the mentoring program. As my children got older, I expanded my reach and became coach, uncle, dad and big brother. The way I try to do it: lead by example. I’m not a perfect person but I try to emulate positive roles and thoughts in their young minds that they can be good men, fathers, brothers and citizens. I’m proud that a few students that I mentored became dentists and most have gone to college.
You are a father of two sons. How are you preparing them for manhood?
Being there. Boys need a fatherly presence at all times. For the good and bad times. They need a strong hand and soft uplift. I take my boys to church and work. We talk about education as a reality in life. Without a degree, it just got a little tougher. Respect your mother and father as the Bible teaches us. Be courteous and do unto others as you would like to be treated. Finally, be open to new cultures and experiences. Keep an open mind.
What advice or wisdom would you share with other fathers about raising their children?
Stay involved. As a single father, I know firsthand that outside forces from work, divorce, separation, etcetera may keep you from seeing your [children]. I say to them, stay involved. This is your one and only shot.
What words of encouragement do you have for those boys who are growing up without their fathers in their lives?
For whatever reason, he is not around. Stay strong and trust in the Lord. You still have the opportunity to grow and be the man God wants you to be.
When nobody else is around, how do you like to spend your time?
I play PlayStation. Madden is my favorite.
Where do you see yourself in the next five years?
I enjoy traveling and want to see the world.
For more information, visit http://homeoftheperfectsmile.com/.