New England College of Optometry (NECO) announced that National Vision, Inc., generously donated $100,000 to establish a new scholarship geared towards first-generation students from underrepresented backgrounds.
“The need is there and we’re pleased to have more individuals and companies join the effort to address a real issue of diversity in optometry. Diversifying the field starts at the education level and we thank National Vision for their generosity,” states Howard Purcell, OD, NECO President and CEO. “Scholarships are an important way to make graduate school possible and potentially attract individuals who otherwise may not have considered optometry.”
“With 45% of optometrists in our network identifying as Black, Indigenous, or People of Color (BIPOC), National Vision is committed to creating a great environment for people of all backgrounds to practice optometry,” said Reade Fahs, National Vision CEO. “This gift is a way to reduce barriers to success and broaden access to education for students from backgrounds that are sorely underrepresented in optometry today, and an investment towards a more inclusive future for the entire optometric community.”
Scholarships are one part of a broader effort at NECO to attract a more diverse student body, from efforts to expand recruitment to ensuring the NECO community is a welcoming, engaging, and inclusive environment for all people. Last year, NECO was the first optometry school to sign on to the 13% Promise, a pledge led by Black Eyecare Perspective, which asks for greater equity and Black representation in eye care companies, colleges of Optometry and optometry boards of trustees.
For details on NECO scholarships, reach out to [email protected].
About New England College of Optometry
New England College of Optometry is an optometry school that prepares the next generation of eye care providers, educators, and innovators through a rigorous curriculum and extensive clinical experiences. NECO graduates compassionate and skilled optometrists prepared to practice in diverse settings. More at neco.edu.
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 & 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’ eye care needs. For more information, please visit www.nationalvision.com.