At Operation Smile we believe an investment in students is an investment in our future, and our focus on youth leadership has been an integral part of our organisation since we were founded in 1982.

We count on the care and dedication of students, parents and teachers to help us bring as many smiles as we can to children all across the world. From the hundreds of Operation Smile clubs in schools and universities around the world, to the student volunteers selected to accompany us on our medical missions, we depend on the next generation of leaders to build awareness, raise funds and educate others on our mission to find and heal every child living with an untreated cleft condition.  




Student Leaders play a key role in the life changing work we do. Join more than 18,000 students worldwide in their mission to transform the lives of children born with cleft conditions by raising awareness and funds across campus.


Contact our office to request a speaker  for your school. One of our medical volunteers would love to come and share their story with you and your classmates 


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  • International Student Leadership Conference 2017, Rome, Italy



    Jonathan Amarilla

    "I witnessed how a group of people with so much good in their hearts can take kids who have never smiled and give them a new start, a new life they deserve. That day changed my entire perception on life. I made one of the most important decisions of my life. I decided to become a doctor. My dream is to volunteer and help give those kids a new chance.”

    Jonathan Amarilla, Student Volunteer, Paraguay. Today, Amarilla is in his third year of medical school.

    Brooke Wayne

    "I was born with a cleft lip and palate, which in a way has made my first trip with Operation Smile a sort of safe haven. It was here that I met 10-year-old Rosio. She was staring. When she walked toward me, I lowered myself to her level. I could see her tiny scar, too. She pointed at my scar and motioned to her own scar. She smiled and said, ‘Que linda’ — you’re beautiful.”

    Brooke Wayne, Student Volunteer, United States

    Ellie McDonald

    "Wow, what an incredible experience! As soon as I arrived I was swept up into the electric atmosphere of over 500 students and very quickly relaxed into taking part in all the opportunities and activitiers available. The most outstanding message I came away with was to think beyond my own life and do more for the benefit of others.”

    Ellie McDonald, Student Volunteer, United Kingdom



    Contact the Community Partnerships Team to learn how you and your school or university can help change children’s lives forever! It all starts with you!

    +44 (0)20 3475 5126 |

    “Every child that has a facial deformity is our responsibility. If we don’t take care of that child, there’s no guarantee that anyone else will.”

    - Kathy Magee, Operation Smile Co-founder and President