As a publisher in the El Paso community for more than 20 years, El Paso Inc. stands by the tradition of telling the interesting stories of the people and businesses of our region.
And when the organization announces its annual El Pasoan of the Year award, it’s their tradition to make a donation in the recipient’s honor, a gift that continues to give and touch the lives of our community’s residents.
In December 2021, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso President Richard Lange, M.D., M.B.A., was named El Pasoan of the Year. Just a few months later, El Paso Inc. and TTUHSC El Paso have partnered to impact the life of an incoming Hunt School of Dental Medicine student with a $5,000 donation from El Paso Inc. The donation was matched by the Hunt School of Dental Medicine Dean’s Excellence Fund to create a $10,000 scholarship.
Incoming student Korynn Bolden, a member of the Hunt School of Dental Medicine’s class of 2026, was selected to receive the scholarship. The award was announced as a surprise during a lunch on campus Wednesday, May 18, with Bolden and her husband, Marcus, Dr. Lange, Hunt School of Dental Medicine Dean Richard Black, D.D.S., M.S., El Paso Inc. Founders Tom and Ellie Fenton, Publisher Secret Wherrett, Vice President of Sales Debra Fraire and Editor Robert Gray. This was the first surprise scholarship announcement the university has hosted for the Hunt School of Dental Medicine.
Bolden is a native El Pasoan and graduate of Andress High School. She is experienced with dentistry and oral health care, having worked as a dental hygienist for the past six years. She earned her Associate of Applied Science in dental hygiene from El Paso Community College and a Bachelor of Science in biological sciences from the University of Texas at El Paso.
During the surprise announcement, Bolden and her husband, who are raising a young family with four children, both cried at the joyful news of the $10,000 scholarship.
“I definitely was worried about how I was going to pay for dental school,” said Bolden, who is one of two hygienists in the incoming class. “This is going to help and I appreciate it very much. It really, truly means so much. Any bit helps, especially when you have a family. I’m just truly grateful for all of your support.”
Bolden was inspired to become a dentist when she was just five years old, after a traumatic incident required extensive dental care for her mom. She remembers the car ride as her mom was rushed to a dental office in El Paso, and the upsetting news that the incident had caused damage that would require substantial dental work. The happiness Bolden witnessed when her mom received the care she needed and a bright new smile was a moment she’ll never forget.
“I remember seeing her so happy after the dental work was completed,” Bolden said. “I made up my mind right then and there that dentistry is what I wanted to do.”
Bolden has not had an easy road to becoming a dentist. She became pregnant at 15 and had her first child at 16, which delayed her plans. But she would not be deterred.
Bolden climbed the ladder to get where she is today, starting out as a dental assistant. She decided to become a dental hygienist and was accepted into a cohort for the program, but had to give up her spot when she learned she was expecting her second child.
The next year, she applied and was accepted again into the dental hygiene program. She has been a registered dental hygienist for about six years while also raising four children with her loving husband.
The timing of her acceptance to the Hunt School of Dental Medicine and now, receiving a scholarship, she said is “all meant to be.”
Her perseverance also inspired her husband, a U.S. Army veteran, to go for his master’s degree in social work at the University of Arlington. He graduates in August.
Moving the Community Forward
Dr. Lange is El Paso Inc.’s 26th El Pasoan of the Year, a tradition started in 1996 to recognize excellence in our community. It is meant to show what can be done and inspire others to reach their potential.
Sometimes, when accomplishments over several years culminate, they are prime for the honor. That was the case for Dr. Lange when he and Hunt School of Dental Medicine leaders welcomed El Paso’s inaugural class of 40 dental students to the new school in 2021. The dental school was the first to open in Texas in more than 50 years.
It was one more piece in realizing the community’s vision for TTUHSC El Paso, and now the El Paso Inc. honor is “paying it forward” by assisting Bolden, who is part of the school’s second class of 60 students. The class of 2026 will begin their studies this summer.
“As a local and family-owned business, El Paso Inc. has supported our community for decades, focusing on important stories about our residents, as well as the businesses and events in the lives of El Pasoans,” Dr. Lange said. “It’s an honor to partner with Tom, Ellie, Secret and their wonderful team to help a future health care hero’s dream of becoming a dentist come true through this scholarship.”
El Paso Inc. has helped tell TTUHSC El Paso’s story since the university’s beginnings in 2013, highlighting students, alumni, faculty and community supporters who have helped transform health care in the Borderplex region.
“We’re thrilled to team up with the Hunt School of Dental Medicine to donate scholarship funds in Dr. Lange’s honor,” said Wherrett. “It’s especially rewarding that it will benefit an El Pasoan, Korynn Bolden, on her path to a bright and important career. It’s a great privilege to support her in reaching her potential.”
El Paso Inc., which is “El Paso Owned and Proud,” began publishing in 1995. Its mission is to serve as a source of intelligence for the business community and to help the city realize its potential by using its pages to reflect and celebrate the financial, artistic, civic and social successes of those who live in El Paso, Texas. The flagship is a Sunday morning, paid-circulation, weekly newspaper widely read by El Paso community leaders. The company publishes other special publications, holds several community events and is expanding its digital businesses including paid online subscriptions and marketing solutions.