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VSP Vision and Black EyeCare Perspective Establish Empowering Equity Scholarship
RANCHO CORDOVA, Calif. – Today, VSP Vision™ and Black EyeCare Perspective announced the creation of the “Empowering Equity Scholarship,” which will provide $15,000 scholarships to a pair of eligible optometry students. The inaugural scholarship is part of the ongoing partnership between VSP Vision and Black EyeCare Perspective, an organization that cultivates and fosters lifelong relationships between African-American eye care professionals and the eye care industry.
“We are proud to introduce the ‘Empowering Equity Scholarship’ in partnership with Black EyeCare Perspective,” said VSP Vision Chief Diversity Officer Marvin Davenport. “This scholarship is another way we’re investing in the education of future optometrists and supporting new pathways that sustain a standard of equity in the profession of optometry.”
Current optometry students who are expected to graduate in 2024 (OD3), hold a minimum 3.0 GPA and enrolled in an accredited program part of the Associations of the Schools and Colleges of Optometry (ASCO) are encouraged to apply. The deadline is Sunday, June 4.
The winners will be announced Friday, July 7 during the 2023 National Optometric (NOA) annual conference in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., which runs from July 6-9.
“In just our second year partnering with VSP Vision on our efforts to support the 13% Promise, we have made great strides in our mission to improve and increase the representation of Black individuals and African-Americans in the optometric industry,” said Black EyeCare Perspective Executive Director Essence Johnson, OD, FAAO, Dipl ABO. “Our goal with this scholarship is to both award and recognize deserving students who are aligned with our cause of advancing diversity in the profession. There is an opportunity for increased access to care and better health outcomes for Black communities when there are more Black optometrists and eye care professionals.
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About VSP Vision
At VSP Vision™, our purpose is to empower human potential through sight. As the first national not-for-profit vision benefits company, this is what drives everything we do. For nearly 70 years, VSP has been the leader in health-focused vision care. Every day, the people that power our complementary businesses—VSP® Vision Care, Marchon Eyewear, Inc., Visionworks®, Eyefinity®, Eyeconic, VSP® Optics, and VSP® Ventures—work together to create a world where everyone can bring their best vision to life. That means providing affordable access to eye care and eyewear for more than 85 million members through a network of more than 41,000 doctors. It also means expanding access to vision care to those disadvantaged by income, distance, or disaster through VSP Vision™ Eyes of Hope®. To date, more than 3.8 million people in need have received access to no-cost eye care and eyewear through one of our Eyes of Hope programs.
Learn more about how we’re reinvesting in greater vision, health, and opportunities for all at vspvision.com.
About Black EyeCare Perspective
Black EyeCare Perspective (BEP) was designed and created to cultivate and foster lifelong relationships between African-American eye care professionals and the eye care industry. BEP is creating awareness and changing the narrative of the role of optometry from a profession, provider and patient perspective. BEP is creating brave spaces and facilitating courageous conversations within the eye care community through diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives. BEP is changing the mindset of the next generation of eye care professionals to impact the industry in ways we have yet to see. The Black EyeCare Perspective Pre-Optometry Club (BEPPOC) is the first nationally recognized pre-optometry club by the Associations of the Schools and Colleges of Optometry (ASCO) that was established in 2020 to ensure not a single, potential Black or African-American student or optometrist is ignored, discouraged or disadvantaged. With a membership of over 160 Black future optometrists representing 76 unique undergraduate institutions, 20 being Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), 90% of the inaugural cohort matriculated into a school or college of optometry and was connected to over $100,000 in resources, scholarships and grants.
To learn more about Black EyeCare Perspective, their initiatives, BEPPOC and ways to support visit: www.blackeyecareperspective.com.