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Davis Journal

Bountiful nonprofit receives a grant to provide dental and vision services for refugees

Dec 09, 2022 11:46AM ● By Peri Kinder

Gabrielle Ernest (left) and Ronda Miller-Ernest (right) work with local refugees to provide vision and dental services through their nonprofit Education for Generations.

Hundreds of refugees come to Utah each year, often leaving their home countries with few material possessions. Education for Generations in Bountiful (866 Devon Ln.) is a nonprofit providing refugee services including vision and dental assistance. 

The organization was named as one of 20 Utah nonprofits to receive a $3,000 grant from SelectHealth to further its mission and work. 

In a video made by SelectHealth to promote the winning organizations, Gabrielle Ernest, co-founder of Education for Generations, talked about the nonprofit she co-founded at 19 with her mother Ronda Miller-Ernest.

“We found there was a huge gap of services for refugee families when they’re relocated to Utah. Insurances don’t often cover dental procedures as well as eye glasses,” Ernest said. “I was very fortunate in my life to have a lot of these needs covered. But watching people forced to leave their homes, to come here and learn a new culture and a new language and keep going, it’s amazing.”

Education for Generations President Miller-Ernest said it’s hard for anyone to work with dental pain or poor eyesight. It can be difficult to concentrate and it might limit opportunities. Providing these services can affect a person’s lifestyle and success. For children, Medicaid often provides one pair of glasses but if those break they need to buy a new pair out-of-pocket. 

Not only does Education for Generations help local refugees, it also holds humanitarian trips to a school in Kenya where they’ve been providing resources for food and education for students at the Daisy School for 10 years. 

The organization was chosen for the SelectHealth Award for its efforts to make Utah a healthier place to live. 

“The SelectHealth Awards is designed to highlight the notable work and contributions of organizations that are making an incredible impact in our community,” said Marti Lolli, SelectHealth president and CEO. “These awards allow SelectHealth to continue to show support for key partners and organizations who have a shared mission and wake up every day thinking about how to make a difference in the communities we serve.”

Education for Generations offers many ways for donors to support its programs. People can sponsor a student in Kenya, make a one-time donation for general services or link a Smith’s account to the nonprofit to contribute at no extra cost. 

For more information, visit

“We support the Daisy School and locally we help with vision and dental care for refugees,” Miller-Ernest said. “And we want to provide that support for generations.”