ST. LOUIS—Optometry Cares – The AOA Foundation has announced its 2023 scholarship recipients, including the student winners of the Larry J. Alexander Scholarship for Education, Dr. Seymour Galina Scholarship, and the Bernard Maitenaz Scholarship. This year’s scholarship recipients include Sara Masood, New England College of Optometry – Larry J. Alexander Scholarship for Education; Eunice Hwang, The Ohio State University College of Optometry – Dr. Seymour Galina Scholarship; and Hannah Payne Morrison, University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Optometry – Bernard Maitenaz Scholarship.

The $2,500 Larry J. Alexander Scholarship for Education, supported by Optovue, honors Dr. Alexander’s dedication to mentoring and leading the profession. As an ode to Dr. Alexander’s passion for helping others, the scholarship application calls for third-year students to describe a moment they served their community and how they plan to contribute to those in need following graduation.

“My plan to help others through my optometric practice is simple yet transformative,” Masood wrote in her application. “I will reflect and expand on learnings from life experiences to discover new insights,consistently evolve in  ways feasible, fuel leadership development, craft a meaningful purpose and translate that purpose into action – with hope to inspire others and belief that even small changes and contributions can have an enormous impact.”

One of the earliest endowed gifts to Optometry Cares – The AOA Foundation, the $2,500 Dr. Seymour Galina Scholarship was established through a bequest from longtime AOA member, Dr. Galina. The Foundation manages the endowment by investing the original gift and then using the earnings to fund the Dr. Seymour Galina Scholarship Grant in perpetuity. The scholarship application requires that third-year students identify qualities they developed through either financial planning or work experience that will be useful following graduation.

In her application, Hwang wrote, “We really started with barely anything and my parents have worked hard to provide for both of us now. My sister and I are both in professional school which majorly was because of my parents’ sacrifice and financial management.”

The $10,000 Bernard Maitenaz Scholarship, supported by EssilorLuxottica, honors the numerous contributions and optometric legacy made by Mr. Maitenaz. The scholarship application requires third-year students submit an innovative toolkit for social media that directly communicates the importance of eye exams to parents and caregivers.

“I truly have a passion for optometry, and more specifically pediatric optometry,” said Payne Morrison. “The social media tool kit and hashtag I created, #supersight, is important to me because I want children to see their glasses as empowering and be a source of confidence for them.”

The 2024 scholarship applications will open on Sept. 1, 2023. Applications and criteria will be posted on the Optometry Cares – The AOA Foundation website.