Embodying Dr. Poston's Values to Care for Underserved Communities

I secured my first leadership role in optometry before I even started optometry school.

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During my orientation at the NOVA Southeastern University College of Optometry, the National Optometric Association (NOA) spoke to the incoming students about available leadership roles through their student branch—the National Optometric Student Association (NOSA). NOSA’s mission to increase access to eye care for minority and underserved communities aligns with my own desire to help these same populations, so I dove in headfirst to become involved with my local chapter as the NOSA OD1 Representative for my school. From there, I have immersed myself in leadership roles for NOSA every year that I have been in optometry school, as I realized I could make an impact through this organization locally and nationally. In my final year of optometry school this year, I will serve as the NOSA National President.

My passion to give back has always been an integral part of my life and something my parents instilled in me early on. So, once I discovered that I wanted to pursue a career in optometry, I knew that my main goal would be to give back in some capacity. After discovering NOSA, I quickly realized that I would focus my academic and professional journeys on helping bridge the gap for underserved populations in the optometric field, and that is my something I have carried through to my last year of optometry school as I aspire to provide eye care for underserved communities after graduation. 

Throughout my time in optometry school, I have seen the long-term commitment VSP Vision has made to support student success and the next generation of optometrists through every stage of our professional journeys. VSP and VSP Premier Edge provide optometry students with resources—such as scholarships and access to industry events—while we’re still in school so we can further develop our skills and ultimately become successful Doctors of Optometry. 

I have experienced this support firsthand by being named the NOSA Executive Board recipient of the 2023 Dr. Marvin R. Poston Leadership Award, which awards five optometry students who embody Dr. Poston’s commitment to leadership, service, and diversity each with a $4,000 scholarship. As someone who is passionate about working with underserved communities, I am humbled to be chosen for my commitment to practicing the same values as Dr. Poston. His legacy continues to grow through optometry students and ODs today who are making splashes in the optometric field because of the impact he made. I am optimistic about the future of optometry and I hope to carry Dr. Poston’s legacy on through my career to make my own impact providing vision care to those who need it most. 

As Eye See It, being successful in optometry means you are serving the public to better their vision and their vision care. However you choose to practice, if you are serving the public by improving their vision, you are successful.

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