Shaping Smiles

Character Before Career is the motto that has been with The Stony Brook School for over a century. Each student shows what Character Before Career means to them in their own way. Michael Bui ’26 traveled to Ecuador to help underserved communities that have a variety of medical needs.

“Together with my family, I have had the unique privilege of participating in four medical missions to Ecuador with Bianca’s House, an organization of volunteers that brings much-needed free medical services and operations to communities in Latin America. This past September, we completed our first plastic surgery mission since the 2020 Pandemic. I have made many great friends and long-lasting memories with both our volunteers and patients. Witnessing the lack and access to affordable health care has made me realize how truly fortunate I am. It takes as little as one hour of surgery to change the life of a child suffering with cleft lip or palate, to fill their future with promise and new opportunities for health and well-being.

Being able to help is truly an amazing feeling. As a junior volunteer, I assist by entertaining the children, work and learn alongside the other health professionals, unpack supplies and equipment, and practice my Spanish.

Blanca’s House was started in 2009, and they have made over sixty missions. Many of the healthcare volunteers come from Long Island and New York. These missions are made possible by volunteers giving their time and generous donations.” -Michael Bui ’26

To learn more about Blanca’s House, visit: