Jessica Taylor, Class of 2019, was selected as the New England College of Optometry (NECO) recipient of the 2017 J. Pat Cummings Scholarship. The award is sponsored by Johnson & Johnson Vision Care, Inc. and the American Academy of Optometry Foundation of the American Academy of Optometry (AAO) and presented to a second or third year student from each of the optometric schools and colleges in North America.
The scholarship provides a $1,000 award and recognizes optometric students who exemplify ideal eye care standards of practice and demonstrate excellence in academic and extra-curricular activities such as community service, internships, and volunteer work. Jessica exemplifies academic excellence and a passion for service and advocacy at NECO and finds opportunities to contribute throughout her time inside and outside the classroom.
In her essay, Jessica Taylor notes, “When people ask me why I chose NECO my response is simple: NECO was the only school to offer such a unique public health driven clinical experience. During my three years at NECO, the opportunities involving community-based service have been overwhelmingly abundant including: a 10 day mission’s trip to Belize in between my first and second year, volunteering to perform screenings during the Special Olympics, as well as placements in a variety of community health centers.
I passionately believe as an optometrist, my main priority is to help eliminate preventable blindness by providing access to care no matter the patient’s circumstances - whether through advocating for various legislations or funding, eliminating the language barrier, or providing various mobile screening services to those who may not have access to a clinic site for a variety of reasons.”
Taylor believes receiving this scholarship, coupled with the opportunities provided through the College, will allow her to achieve her goals and provide her with resources to encourage others in the field do to the same.
About New England College of Optometry
New England College of Optometry is an independent graduate college of optometry that educates students for careers in eye care delivery, research and education. NECO was founded in 1894 as the Klein School of Optics, and is the oldest continuously operating school of optometry in the United States. NECO prepares the next generation of eye care providers, educators, leaders, and innovators through a rigorous curriculum and extensive clinical experiences. Through a vast network of clinical affiliations, our students put patient care first, providing vision care to children, older adults, the homeless, and individuals with disabilities through our work in our school programs, community programs, community health centers, and VA medical centers.
Media Contact: Ingrid Hoogendoorn, Director of Communications