Home Opticians Transitions Optical Educational Grant Program Aims to Foster a More Diverse, Equitable...

Transitions Optical Educational Grant Program Aims to Foster a More Diverse, Equitable and Inclusive Optical Industry

image shows woman in stylish glasses - announcing diversity grantsTo help increase diverse representation in the optical industry, Transitions Optical, Inc., in partnership with its Diversity Advisory Board, is accepting applications for its inaugural Diversity in Optical educational grant program until August 31, 2024, at 11:59 p.m. ET.

Transitions Optical, which is a part of the EssilorLuxottica group, will award five grants of $1,000 to graduating high school seniors aspiring to attend opticianry school in the U.S. Two additional grants of $5,000 will be awarded to second-year optometry or ophthalmology students attending an accredited U.S. school or college.

GRANT ELIGIBILITY

All grant applicants must be a U.S. citizen, permanent resident or Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipient. Applicants must also be a member of one of the marginalized groups currently underrepresented in the U.S. optical industry.

“Our Diversity in Optical grant program aims to help pave a path toward a more diverse, inclusive and equitable industry by removing financial burden and providing historically underrepresented populations with the opportunity to act on their professional interests by receiving quality higher education,” said Arlene Barringer, senior marketing manager, trade communications, Transitions.

The Diversity in Optical grant funds can be used to help defray costs associated with pursuing a career in the optical industry, such as textbooks and educational materials associated with curriculum and tuition reimbursement.

Grant recipients are also required to submit proof that all funds were used towards the cost of the educational materials or applied to paying down student tuition.

APPLICATION PROCESS

Applications for the Diversity in Optical optometry and ophthalmology grants as well as for the opticianry grants are available online. All applicants must complete and submit their application before the August 31, 2024 deadline. Requirements include

  • a one-page letter of recommendation from a teacher/professor
  • a copy of an official high school or college transcript
  • a 500-word personal essay or a two-to-three-minute video on why diversity matters to the optical industry or the impact of having a diverse workforce in the optical industry

In addition, applicants must provide a response to one out of three questions that asks their opinion on the role of optical professionals in helping to increase diversity in the industry and ensure equitable and inclusive patient care.

The Transitions® Diversity Advisory Board—which is comprised of practicing optometrists, ophthalmologists and opticians from the largest and fastest-growing minority demographic groups in the U.S.—will serve as the judging committee for all grants.

Winners of the Diversity in Optical grants will be publicly announced in September 2024 and applicants are encouraged to follow Transitions on social media for any updates.

Also see the WO story on other loan- and grant-help options here.

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