EYECARE: Optometry Opening Your Eyes: The Vision Council Scholarship Fund Expands to Seven Additional Institutions Within the National Federation of Opticianry Schools By Staff Monday, July 25, 2022 12:24 AM ALEXANDRIA Va.—The Vision Council today announces that the Opening Your Eyes: The Vision Council Scholarship Fund is expanding to seven additional institutions within the National Federation of Opticianry Schools (NFOS), including: Daytona State College (Fla.), Erie Community College (N.Y.), Miami Dade College (Fla.), Middlesex Community College (Conn.), Raritan Valley Community College (N.J.), Reynolds Community College (Va.), and Wiregrass Georgia Technical College (Ga.). The additional schools mark an expansion from the scholarship’s launch schools—Georgia Piedmont Technical College, New York City Technical College, and Middlesex Community College—and the two partners that were added in May 2022, Durham Technical Community College (Durham, N.C.) and Hillsborough Community College (Fla.). The Vision Council will continue to expand the scholarship to additional NFOS institutions over the coming months. To reach more students and garner interest in the scholarship program, The Vision Council is working with Spotted MP, a small, women and minority-owned business with expertise in regional, grassroots marketing efforts. Through Spotted MP, The Vision Council will seek opportunities to reach high school students and their families in local markets of participating NFOS schools with messages about the field of opticianry and applying for the scholarship. “We are thrilled to continue to expand this program to additional partner schools so that we can reach as many interested candidates as possible,” said Ashley Mills, CEO of The Vision Council. “Our goal is to reach more students in more communities and build a diverse pipeline of talent for the vision care industry.” Scholarship recipients will be 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. The Vision Council will maintain a strong connection between students and scholarship donors and will support students as they launch their careers. Upon graduation, The Vision Council will provide additional student support, including providing 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. Scholarship applications will be housed on each participating school’s website. For more information on the program, click here. Opening Your Eyes: The Vision Council Scholarship Fund is part of The Vision Council’s larger mission to build a more diverse and inclusive vision care community. Additional efforts include the launch of The Vision Council’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Task Force; the fielding of a comprehensive industry survey on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Survey in 2020; and most, recently, the creation of an online certificate program in partnership with Cornell University’s School of Industrial and Labor Relations (ILR), titled Advancing Diversity & Inclusion: A Cornell Certificate for Optical Professionals. “We are very appreciative for the continued support from the vision care community,” said Ashley Mills. “Together, we are shaping the future of the industry and helping young people find a meaningful role in this special community.” 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. To request an invoice, contact Eryn Quinn at firstname.lastname@example.org. Supporters of Opening Your Eyes: The Vision Council Scholarship Fund include: Anna-Karin Karlsson Bella Eye Care Optometry CooperVision DeRigo REM Europa Eyewear Eschenbach Optik EssilorLuxottica Jobson Luminance Vision Optometry Luxury Optical Holdings MODO Eyewear MyEyeDr. 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. For more information on the scholarship program and The Vision Council’s diversity, equity and inclusion efforts, click here.