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Optometry Cares & Essilor Offer $10,000 Scholarship

A new scholarship is now available for third-year optometry students: the Bernard Maitenaz Scholarship, sponsored by Essilor and administered by Optometry Cares – The AOA Foundation, the charitable organization of the American Optometric Association (AOA). One winner will be selected annually for the $10,000 scholarship.

“The Bernard Maitenaz Scholarship is an exciting and much-appreciated opportunity for countless students of optometry who are striving to reach their maximum potential as eyecare providers,” says T. Joel Byars, OD, Optometry Cares president. “I offer my sincere gratitude to Essilor for helping to make this scholarship possible for our soon-to-be ODs who are determined to make a difference in the lives of patients.”

The scholarship honors Bernard Maitenaz, one of the foremost authorities in optical science and engineering. Maitenaz is the inventor of the Varilux lens. In 2012 alone, 50 million progressive addition lenses were prescribed and dispensed in the US. Maitenaz also worked at Essilor for 43 years and served as chief operating officer, chief executive officer and chairman of the company.

“We are excited to have this opportunity to encourage the best young optometric minds around the country to dream big,” says Howard Purcell, OD, FAAO., Dipl., and senior vice-president of customer development, Essilor of America.  “This scholarship serves not only as a way to honor Bernard Maitenaz, but also support future leaders in the optical industry and help further their education, while continuing our long-standing support for the AOA.”

To be eligible for the scholarship, the third-year optometry student must complete the following requirements:

• The applicant must submit a two-page/1,500 word essay, and in addition to the essay, the student must submit either a five-slide PowerPoint or a three-minute video. All entries must focus on the impact of vision on performance, economics education and lifestyle in the US and beyond. Applicants must demonstrate leadership and participation in school and community activities, honors, and work experience, as well as include goals and aspirations, and unusual personal or family circumstances.

• Submit two letters of recommendation. One of the letters must be from an academic advisor/teacher/dean where the applicant attends school.

• These applications must be submitted to the school or college where the applicant is enrolled first. Then, each school or college will vet the applications and submit only one to Optometry Cares to be judged.

Schools of optometry will determine their top applicant and send his or her materials to Optometry Cares by November 11, 2014. Applications will be reviewed by the Optometry Cares Endowment and Scholarship Fund Advisory Committee, and a winner will be determined in December 2014.

For more information on the Bernard Maitenaz Scholarship, please contact Optometry Cares Development Officer Rebecca Hildebrand, at 314-983-4154 or RAHildebrand@aoa.org. For video and additional submission requirements, visit www.aoafoundation.org.

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