New England College of Optometry Receives Diversity Scholarship Donation from National Vision
New England College of Optometry (NECO) announced that National Vision, Inc., 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].