Opening Your Eyes: The Vision Council Scholarship Fund
A program of the Better Vision Institute, the related educational foundation of The Vision Council, the scholarship is designed to provide financial assistance and career opportunities to minority high school seniors throughout the United States who have an interest in pursuing a career in the optical industry. The program launched in 2021 and the first round of recipients was selected in July 2021.
Expansion of Program to Reach Additional Students
Following the scholarship’s launch in 2021, The Vision Council announced in 2022 that it is expanding the Opening Your Eyes: The Vision Council Scholarship Fund to additional institutions within the National Federation of Opticianry Schools (NFOS). In an effort to reach more potential applicants in more communities across the United States, The Vision Council will continue expanding the program to additional NFOS schools in the coming months.
As of November 2022, partner schools include:
- Benjamin Franklin Cummings Institute of Technology (MA)
- Broward College (FL)
- Camden County College (NJ)
- Cuyahoga Community College (OH)
- Daytona State College (FL)
- Durham Technical Community College (NC)
- Erie Community College (NY)
- Essex County College (NJ)
- Georgia Piedmont Community College (GA)
- Hillsborough Community College (FL)
- Miami Dade College (FL)
- Middlesex Community College (CT)
- Raritan Valley Community College (NJ)
- Reynolds Community College (VA)
- Wiregrass Georgia Technical College (GA)
Scholarship applications will be housed on each participating school’s website and scholarship recipients are selected through the participating school’s foundations. Eligible students must be interested in pursuing an associate degree in Ophthalmic Dispensing at a participating National Federation of Opticianry Schools member institution. Each scholarship includes $6,000 per year, as well as reimbursement of certification and state exam fees. Scholarships are renewable each year upon successful completion of all course work.
As additional scholarship recipients are selected, The Vision Council will maintain a strong relationship with the students and welcome them to the vision care community in a number of ways. Upon each student’s graduation, The Vision Council will provide additional support, including free registration and discounted continuing education at both Vision Expo East and West and complimentary National Academy of Opticianry (NAO) and Opticians Association of America (OAA) membership for the first year following graduation.
How to Donate
The Vision Council invites members of the vision care community to lend their support to this important program. To contribute to the scholarship program directly, click here.
Almost $340,000 has been pledged towards the Opening Your Eyes: The Vision Council Scholarship Fund. Supporters include:
- Anna-Karin Karlsson
- Bella Eye Care Optometry
- DeRigo REM
- Europa Eyewear
- Eschenbach Optik
- Luminance Vision Optometry
- Luxury Optical Holdings
- MODO Eyewear
- National Vision, Inc.
- Optical Elegance
- Opticians Association of America
- The Vision of Hope Foundation
- The Vision Council and RX
Additionally, the program has received generous donations from countless individuals in the industry and private practitioners.
Congratulations to our Graduates!
Diya Folia, New York City College of Technology
Aaron Nyambe, Middlesex Community College
“It is my pleasure to inform you that this Summer I completed my two-year program for an associate diploma in Ophthalmic Design and dispensing at Middlesex Community College. My gratitude goes to each and every one who supported the scholarship program. With your help and hard work, you made it possible for me to graduate. Now I am just waiting and preparing to sit for the NCLE and licensing exam. At the moment, I am doing the internship program with National Vision under America's Best Contacts & Eyeglasses in New London, CT. The experience is going beyond my expectance, I work with a great team and feel welcome. I hope and pray that this program will open more doors to those who had received and the next recipients of The Vision Council’s Open Your Eyes Scholarship Fund. Receiving the Open Your Eyes Scholarship is something that will forever be in my heart as a reminder to do good to others as we make a difference in people’s lives. Thank you so much."
"I am honored to be one of the recipients of the Opening Your Eyes Scholarship by The Vision Council for the 2022-23 academic year. My name is Liliana, I am a mother of 3 beautiful children and I am also married to my beautiful wife. I decided to return back to school just to show my children that when they grow older, whatever they put their mind to it can be accomplished. My plans after Reynolds are to pursue my career as an Optician. The financial assistance that I am receiving will help me to be able to provide more for my children. I work full-time but a big chunk of my check from work is being taken due to paying for classes and because of this, I am not able to provide as much for my family and it's been causing us stress financially. I currently work at Lens Crafters as an Eye Care Advisor. I Jove my position and that is what drove more interest into starting school once again and making it into a career choice. Thank you for giving me this opportunity through your scholarship support."