(L to R) Laura Medina, Joanna Lopez and Christine Chou.

DULUTH, Ga.—National Vision, Inc. (NASDAQ: EYE) announced the winners of its 2023 National Optometric Student Association (NOSA) scholarships, awarding a total of $7,000 to three optometry students, including one repeat winner. The winners were selected based on their assessments on optical issues disproportionately affecting minority groups and the thoughtful plans they conveyed for tackling such issues head-on in their future optometry careers. “Each year we are blown away by the knowledge and passion of every applicant on the topic at hand, and we are truly inspired by the innovative thinking these rising optometrists will bring to the field,” said Priti Patel, OD, senior vice president of health care strategy for National Vision.

“Access to quality care is central to our mission, and our three winners have demonstrated a clear understanding of the issues threatening that mission, along with detailed solutions for addressing the barriers that prevent so many from prioritizing their visual health.”

The 2023 National Vision NOSA scholarship winners were awarded their scholarships at this year’s National Optometric Association (NOA) Convention on July 7 in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. Each student was recognized for their thoughtful submissions, including video and essay entries, as well as a repeat win by Joanna Lopez, who was awarded a first-place scholarship in 2022.

● First Place ($4,000): Laura Medina, SUNY College of Optometry, Class of 2024
● Runner-Up ($2,000): Joanna Lopez, UC Berkeley School of Optometry, Class of 2025
● Runner-Up ($1,000): Christine Chou, SUNY College of Optometry, Class of 2025

In addition, the NOA honored National Vision with the 2023 Founder’s Award at this year’s convention. National Vision was recognized for its support of the NOA and ensuring diversity is at the forefront of the profession by providing scholarships to NOSA members for many years. Also recognized were the company’s community initiatives, including its partnership with the NOA through its charitable arm, 20/20 Quest, to develop the "Eyempowerment Initiative" focused on improving eye health access, education and awareness to underserved communities.

“We are honored to be recognized by the NOA with this prestigious award. Our long-standing partnership is based off our shared goal of simply doing all we can to help others see better and live better, and we look forward to continuing down this joint path,” said Patel.

National Vision established its NOSA scholarship program in 2015 to encourage students to continue their work in primary care, particularly in often-underserved minority communities. Every year, winners are selected based on the quality of their essay submissions and an assessment of their involvement in community service as well as optometric organizations. All active NOSA members are eligible to apply.

National Vision Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ: EYE) is the second largest optical retail company (by sales) in the U.S. with over 1,300 stores in 44 states and Puerto Rico. With a mission of helping people by making quality eyecare and eyewear more affordable and accessible, the company operates five retail brands: America’s Best Contacts & Eyeglasses, Eyeglass World, Vision Centers inside select Walmart stores, and Vista Opticals inside select Fred Meyer stores and on select military bases, and several e-commerce websites, offering a variety of products and services for customers’ eyecare needs.