Home News VSP Vision Announces Two $10,000 Winners of Premier Edge Student Business Challenge

VSP Vision Announces Two $10,000 Winners of Premier Edge Student Business Challenge

Malia McDowell and Nastasya Liem have been named the 2024 VSP Premier Edge Student Business Challenge winners.

Malia McDowell
Malia McDowell

McDowell is class of 2026 at the University of Alabama, Birmingham School of Optometry. Liem is class of 2026 at UC Berkeley, Herbert Wertheim School of Optometry and Vision Science.

“We congratulate both Nastasya and Malia on their dedication to private practice ownership and well-earned wins,” says VSP Vision Chief Provider and Industry Solutions Officer Michelle Skinner.

“At VSP Vision, we are proud to support private practice and the Premier Edge Student Business Challenge is one of many ways we strive to ensure success for the next generation of optometrists. Nastasya and Malia both exemplify the bright young talent shaping the future of this profession.”


Nastasya Liem
Nastasya Liem

The Premier Edge Student Business Challenge is designed for optometry students interested in pursuing private practice ownership in collaboration with the Association of Practice Management Educators (APME) and Student Optometric Leadership Network (SOLN). McDowell and Liem were each awarded a $10,000 scholarship, as well as a travel grant to the annual SOLN conference.

“The importance of providing excellent optometric care in rural communities is needed throughout our nation. This experience and award gave me the confidence to remain ambitious for the future and make my business plan a reality,” says McDowell.

“Being able to share my business plan with the leading and most successful private practice owners in optometry establishes I can be like them one day.”

“I am honored and beyond blessed to have receive the Premier Edge Business Challenge Scholarship this year. Not only has it allowed me to further my optometric education financially, but it has been a source of hope and motivation towards the future,” says Liem. “This business challenge has opened my eyes and has given me a little sneak peek to the future that I hope to achieve one day.”


Read more student stories from WO here.

Read more news from WO here.

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