Once Homeless Student Gets Dental Help

Jeremy Burnett's years on the streets caused teeth to rot

It's a big month for Texas Wesleyan University student Jeremy Burnett.  He's the guy who lived on Fort Worth streets and at the Union Gospel Mission before a manager there discovered he was a math genius.  It led to a volunteer position teaching math to GED students at the non-profit Hope Center.   He told the center's president JoAnn Reyes of his dream to go to college.  It came true last fall when he enrolled at TWU.  He got an astounding 4.0 in his first semester of college and plans to do it again in the spring. 
His incredible story of second chances was first told in the Star-Telegram then on NBCDFW and people responded.  Colleyville dentist Laurence Oliver offered to fix Jeremy's teeth that rotted through years of neglect.  Jeremy went for his second visit last week and had 18 teeth pulled!  JoAnn Reyes says "Dr. Oliver is going to put in some false teeth in about two weeks for him to wear while he is working on the implants.   I can’t wait to see Jeremy’s new look. " 
JoAnn also says Jeremy celebrated his 36th birthday last weekend.  The Hope Center threw a party for him and one of the guests was an NBCDFW viewer from Plano. JoAnn says the woman saw NBCDFW' s story about  Jeremy and wanted to help, so she invited her to Jeremy's party.

"She came with her twin daughters, and brought him some wonderful clothes and some gift cards for him to go shopping.  She was so moved by meeting him, that as she talked to him, she was crying.  She said she was touched by his story and wanted to do something to help him.  It was such a special time, as she presented him the gifts and to watch them as the two of them talked together," JoAnn wrote in an email.
JoAnn also says Jeremy's greatest desire is to to reunite with his mother.  He talked about this wish recently when he spoke to a church group. "As he shared his story, he talked about his mom and how he had stolen from her for his drug and alcohol habit and there was a point where he couldn’t talk and tears began to roll down his cheeks as he shared about her.  He said that through the years when he got any money he would send it back to her, but had lost contact during the last two years."
Jeremy continues his studies at Texas Wesleyan and the community continues to help.  In addition to the $25,000 in dental work and the birthday presents, people have donated a $1,000 to a scholarship fund set up by The Hope Center in his name.
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