Lucy Hobbs Project Honorees Drs. Terryl Propper and Maria Maranga.

Liz Murray, shown above, credits a mentor, the tenth in a string of teachers she approached  for help, with empowering her with the support to return to high school in the Bronx after a lifetime of chronic truancy. Then a homeless teen, Murray responded to a steady stream of challenges presented by Perry and completed what seemed to her an insurmountable climb “from homeless to Harvard.”  The author of the NY Times bestseller ‘Breaking Night,’ said her mentor Perry single-handedly chipped away at the brick wall that kept her isolated and out of reach of her goals and community.

Barely taking a break for breath during the fearless share session at the 2nd Annual Lucy Hobbs Project Celebration in Orlando, Florida, June 6 the keynote speaker illustrated to her audience the power of Perry’s “What if?” Her plea to the 200 in attendance –“Are you willing to do your part?” –reaffirmed the underlying message of the morning: don’t underestimate your role as a mentor.

To begin the day, Maria Maranga, DDS, memorialized a young dental student during her acceptance of the Lucy Hobbs Mentorship Award.  The practicing endodontist in Aquebogue, NY, shares her passion for dentistry with the next generation of practitioners at Stony Brook University School of Dental Medicine.


Dr. Terryl Propper with surprise guest and lifelong mentor Dr. James Gutmann and Office Manager Lynda Davenport, who offered one introduction for Dr. Propper’s award.

A few awards later, Woman to Watch winner Terryl A. Propper, DDS, MS, a senior partner of a seven-doctor, two-location endodontic practice in Brentwood, Tenn., made a special dedication to her lifelong mentor, Dr. James Gutmann, who surprised her with his presence at the event. The Professor Emeritus in Restorative Sciences at Baylor College of Dentistry in Texas had traveled to celebrate his former student.