Teaching Students About The Vision Care Gap In & Out Of The Classroom: Dr. Eileen Alexander

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Volunteers like Dr. Eileen Alexander are constantly helping us spread awareness about OneSight and the vision care gap. Dr. Alexander teaches in the Health Services Administration (HSA) Department at Xavier University in Cincinnati, Ohio. Students in her courses are required to learn about their community from a population health and social justice perspective. After inviting OneSight to present to her class, Dr. Alexander and students from her undergraduate HSA program traveled to a OneSight Clinic in Fishkill NY to volunteer last summer. The students had a great experience administering vision care, working with people from all over the world, seeing New York City and learning about US history in Fishkill. 

“Given that it was our first time volunteering with OneSight, we entered the Fishkill, NY, clinic with open minds and few expectations. What we didn’t prepare ourselves for was the overwhelming support and community that came along with working with the OneSight team. Each and every individual on the team welcomed us with open arms and was willing to do whatever they could to make sure we were comfortable and enjoying our experience. It was obvious to us that the team was truly engaged with OneSight’s mission of creating a world where a lack of access to vision care is no longer a barrier to human achievement and possibility.

The OneSight team was gentle and kind to all of the kids at the clinic. You could actually see the nerves melting away from the kids’ faces as they moved through the visual screening stations. One story that stuck with us was the story of a young girl who told us she was sharing a pair of glasses with her mom, and that she could never have her own pair because they were unable to afford it. She was so happy when she found out she got to pick out her own, brand new pair of glasses that day. One of the most rewarding parts of the clinic experience was seeing the huge smile on the kids’ faces after they chose their own pair of frames.

We believe that the small act of giving these children a pair of glasses is an act of kindness that will make an impression on them for the rest of their lives. Thank you so much for taking us in and treating us as members of your team, it was such a fun, rewarding experience and we can’t wait to volunteer at more OneSight clinics in the future!” – Grace Riley and Ally Vaul, Health Sciences Administration students at Xavier University 

Dr. Alexander and her students continue to be active supporters of OneSight, volunteering at local community vision screenings on Xavier University’s campus and more. Want to help spread awareness about OneSight and the work that we do? Explore ways to get involved at www.onesight.org/act