National Vision Names 2020-2021 Grant Program Winners

National Vision has awarded $7,000 in grants to three third- and fourth-year optometry students. Applicants were challenged to share their perspectives on which changes implemented during COVID-19 will become a permanent part of how optometrists practice and provide healthcare services.

“The current pandemic has impacted nearly every facet of the way the world works,” said Alex Louw, Chief Medical Officer, National Vision. “As we thought about our prompt for this year’s grant program, it was an obvious selection, and our winners answered a daunting and complex question with unique, informed points of view.”

The 2020-2021 grant winners included:

  • First Place ($5,000): Juan Manuel Giraldo, University of Waterloo, The School of Optometry and Vision Science, Class of 2022
  • Runner-Up ($1,000): Dana Shannon, University of Alabama Birmingham School of Optometry, Class of 2021
  • Runner-Up ($1,000): Nhi Trinh, Southern College of Optometry, Class of 2022
National Vision 2021 Grant Winners
National Vision 2021 Grant Winners; Juan Manuel Giraldo,, Dana Shannon, Nhi Trinh

Applicant submissions explored which COVID-19 safety measures and general practices (if any) may become deep-rooted mainstays for optometrists, as well as whether the profession could one day return completely to pre-pandemic standards. Students addressed the prompt in the form of a 500-word written essay or a short video, exploring topics such as mask regulations, enhanced sanitation protocols, social distancing and remote medicine. A panel of judges, including licensed optometrists, evaluated each submission, ultimately selecting the first place winner and two runners-up.

“It’s our sixth year of awarding these grants, and these entries are some of the most thoughtful we’ve ever received,” Louw said. “Our three winners stood out for their creativity and astute assessments. It’s clear they have bright futures ahead of them, and we’re proud to support them along their educational journeys.”


About National Vision Holdings, Inc.

National Vision Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ: EYE) is one of the largest optical retail companies in the United States with over 1,200 stores in 44 states plus the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. With a mission of helping people by making quality eye care and eyewear more affordable and accessible, the company operates five retail brands: America’s Best Contacts & EyeglassesEyeglass WorldVision 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’ eye care needs. For more information, please visit

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