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OD Student Keith Uyemura performin an eye exam.

About the Photo

OD Student Keith Uyemura performing an eye exam in San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua, January 2023. Photo by Katie Brugger.

About VOSH

Volunteer Optometric Services to Humanity (VOSH) International is an organization aimed to provide the gift of vision and eye health to people worldwide, especially to those in underserved communities. VOSH at Berkeley is a student chapter affiliated with VOSH that utilizes Berkeley student volunteers for service trips locally and internationally.

Their Mission

VOSH believes in the freedom to see. Providing the gift of vision and eye health to people worldwide. They facilitate the provision and the sustainability of vision care worldwide for people who can neither afford nor obtain such care. Their goal is to increase our global impact whenever possible by supporting sustainable eye clinics, optometry schools and optometric educators in areas lacking sufficient eye care.

2023-24 Leadership Board

President
Mai Nguyen, Class of 2026

Vice President
Vickie Kuo, Class of 2026

Mai Nguyen is a second-year optometry student and President for Berkeley VOSH. She attended San Francisco State University (SFSU) where she received her Bachelor of Science degree in Biochemistry. During her time at SFSU, she worked as an optician and volunteered at the Loving Eye project mission in Vietnam.

Mai’s upbringing in Vietnam and her experiences as an immigrant in the U.S. have nurtured her fierce passion for supporting and advocating for communities that have been historically underrepresented, underserved, and vulnerable. Through her pursuit of optometry and vision science specifically, Mai hopes to promote awareness on eye care among these marginalized communities, ultimately helping them to “see” a better and brighter future.

In her free time, she loves to spend time with her family and her two dogs - Max and Malika. She enjoys hiking, playing video games and watching movies.

Contact: mhpnguyen@berkeley.edu

Vickie Kuo graduated from UC San Diego with a Bachelors of Science in Human Biology and a minor in Law and Society. During her first year, Vickie wanted to join VOSH and attend Berkeley VOSH’s Nicaragua trip, because she is passionate about being involved in health equity and providing vision care to underserved communities. Now, is proud to be the VP for Berkeley VOSH in her second year at Berkeley Optometry.

In her spare time, she can be found long-distance running, drawing frogs, or color coding her planning binder.

Contact: vickie_kuo@berkeley.edu

Fundraising Chair
Joselyne Calvillo, Class of 2026

Treasurer
Lindsey Sano, Class of 2026

Joselyne is a second-year optometry student and is excited to hold the VOSH Fundraising Chair! When applying to Optometry School, she knew she wanted to be able to attend VOSH trips to help those most in need. Joselyne had the opportunity to be a volunteer during the VOSH January 2023 trip to Nicaragua and fell in love with the country and the people. She is excited to be attending again this year!

She is aware that cost is a major contributing factor as to why many students cannot attend these trips. By holding the Fundraising Chair she hopes to raise funds to help alleviate some of the cost and hopes to get more student participation. Joselyne, along with the rest of the board, have some great fundraising events coming up!

In her free time, Joselyne enjoys going to the movies, grabbing a bite to eat and going grocery shopping.

Lindsey is a second-year optometry student and treasurer for Berkeley VOSH. She grew up in Merced, CA, and attended Fresno State University. She received her Bachelor of Science degree in Biology and obtained minors in Chemistry and Asian American Studies. She also worked as an instructional student assistant at Fresno State and an optician at Aloha Family Optometric Group. During her undergraduate experience, she volunteered in many volunteer optometric clinics throughout the Central Valley to help provide free eyecare for her community.

She enjoys traveling and exploring the Bay Area in her free time. She loves exploring different bars and eateries and recently discovered a passion for making charcuterie boards.

Contact: lindseysano@berkeley.edu

Faculty Advisor: Elise Harb, OD, PhD, FAAO

VOSH in Nicaragua


About the Photo

OD students Landen Longson, Evan Toy, Jessica Wang, Cindy Nguyen, and Keith Uyemura in San Juan del Sur, January 2023.

Berkeley’s VOSH chapter regularly joins VOSH Connecticut on their annual trip to San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua, where volunteers set up a free eye care clinic for the local residents. Click the buttons below to learn more.

Nica 2024 Nica 2023

Early Humanitarian Efforts

Berkeley Optometry has a long history of providing humanitarian eye care to underserved populations. Services to local Bay Area populations began in the 1920s, continuing uninterrupted to the present day. The first international project took place in 1968–69 when optometry student volunteers traveled to Tijuana, Mexico for Christmas and Easter vacations under the auspices of Project Concern, a nonprofit organization headquartered in New York and operating healthcare clinics in New Mexico, Appalachia, Hong Kong, and Vietnam.

In 1989, students established our Berkeley chapter of VOSH and conducted their first chapter mission when volunteer students and clinicians traveled to the Philippine island of Negros Occidental, where they screened approximately 3,000 patients. The success of these international eye-care projects set the stage for efforts in humanitarian vision care that continue today. Berkeley Optometry VOSH missions include visits to Guatemala, Nicaragua, Ecuador, Mexico, Kenya, and Vietnam.

VOSH in Narra
In 2018, Berkeley VOSH traveled to the municipality of Narra, on the island of Palawan, where they saw ~2,200 patients in five days of vision screenings. Students performed retinoscopy and refractions, evaluated for medical referrals, and dispensed free glasses that were collected from friends, family and other donors before the trip. Day 1 was at an elementary school, day 2 at a small village, and the rest of the days they set up at the office of the mayor of Narra. Click the button below to watch a video dedicated to the trip on YouTube.

VOSH in Narra

Questions?

For general questions and how to join, please contact Berkeley VOSH President,
Mai Nguyen: mhpnguyen@berkeley.edu

Follow us on Instagram: @ucb_vosh!