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Berkeley Optometry Ambassadors work in conjunction with the Admissions & Student Affairs Office to provide prospective students with “real life” information regarding what it’s like to be an optometry student here at UC Berkeley.

We encourage you to ask us questions via email and we will be happy to share with you our experiences and passion for Berkeley Optometry.

Student Ambassadors 2024-2025.

Class of 2027 Ambassadors

Learn more about our ambassadors from the Class of 2027 by clicking on a name below.

Adam Ventura was born in Los Angeles, CA. When he was two years old, he moved to his parent’s homeland, El Salvador. He lived there until he was nine years old, which is when he moved back to the United States, more specifically to Indio, CA. From there he went on to attend UCLA, earning himself a bachelor’s degree in Biology in 2023.

His interest in optometry stemmed from his first ever visit to the optometrist, where he was fascinated by the wonderful world of eye care. From there it just kept growing as he researched more about the career and immersed himself into positions that could get him closer to his goal of becoming an optometrist.

Adam chose not to take a gap year and instead come directly to optometry school upon graduating from UCLA. His mind was set on pursuing optometry, so there was no point in waiting any longer to begin his optometric journey. This meant that the summer between his junior and senior year of undergrad, he was busy compiling letters of recommendation, writing essays, filling out applications, and both studying and ultimately taking the OAT.

It can be very daunting to join a program with some much prestige surrounding it like is the case with Herbert Wertheim School of Optometry & Vision Science. However, this is a place where the community grows so easily. You can tell that everyone here, extending from the staff to the student body, are always looking out for you and are willing to lend you a helping hand whenever needed. Adam can’t wait to assist with helping prospective students feel at home here at Herbert Wertheim School of Optometry & Vision Science.

If you have any questions, email Adam directly at:

Adeeba Wasey was born in Chicago, Illinois and moved to Canada when she was only a couple of months old and has spent her whole life in Ontario, Canada. She completed her BSc in Health Sciences and Minor in Biology at Wilfrid Laurier University.

Adeeba has been surrounded by optometric practices her whole life as her family and extended family owns private practices all over the Greater Toronto Area. She has enjoyed spending her weekends and days off in the clinic with Optometrists who made her feel valued and special in the eye exam rooms when she was just in elementary school. Her father taught her how to run a successful private practice and showed her the importance of patient care and satisfaction with every frame he sold.

Adeeba decided to do literature research in her fourth year of her undergraduate career on The Effects of Therapeutic Nanoparticles and Ocular Diseases, she fell in love with the complexity yet simplicity of the human eye and all of its connections to the body. She knew she wanted to follow in her fathers footsteps and own a private practice but after shadowing Optometrists for years and doing research, she decided she wanted to partake in the medical aspect of Optometry and become a doctor. After graduating, Adeeba took a year off to spend time with her family, shadow optometrists, work at retail stores and study for the OAT.

As a Canadian, the options for Optometry schools were limited, she applied to American Optometry schools with some hesitation being a hijabi Muslim woman. As a visible minority, she had reservations with moving far away from home, however, Berkeley accepted her with open arms and showed her a clear path of a higher education through their tight-knit community, advanced research and mainly, opportunities to serve the community.

In 2023, she moved to the Bay Area and became the Co-President of her class with a mission to help minority students feel welcome at our Optometry school and create a safe space for everyone.

Adeeba absolutely loves speaking to prospective students and getting to know them better, please reach out to her directly at:

Allison Cheng was born and raised in Bay Area, California, before leaving sunny California for the East Coast. She attended Tufts University where she majored in Child Studies and Human Development with a minor in music, while leading her fencing team as a captain. After graduating in 2022, Allison stayed on the East Coast to work full time at an OD/MD practice for a year. In addition to learning new hobbies such as the electric guitar during her gap year, she applied and interviewed at optometry schools, prior to confidently picking Berkeley due to its dedicated clinical faculty and emphasis on community.

Allison's diverse studies and endeavors in college such as teaching music led her to the path of optometry. Despite not having access to a pre-optometry community at her own college, Allison explored different avenues of optometry and healthcare with hands-on experience working in gene therapy research, private practice and shadowing specialty clinics to solidify her decision to pursue optometry wholeheartedly. She was motivated by the scope of practice and its preventative aspect of patient care. As such, Allison connected with doctors and student mentors to further understand the intricacies and insights of the field.

Allison appreciates the supportive and caring Berkeley Optometry community: her peers and doctors continue to inspire her daily. She is excited to share her experience on the transition to school and be a resource to all prospective students, especially those who may not have a pre-optometry community during college.

If you have any questions, reach out to Allison at:

Amelia Peterson was born and raised in Nassau, Bahamas. In 2021, she graduated from Western Illinois University in Macomb, Illinois receiving a bachelors in biology and a minor in chemistry. During this time she also competed on the women’s track team as a NCAA division 1 triple jumper. After completing her undergraduate studies she wanted to explore more about health policy, the social determinants of health and focus on community-based interventions. She then continued her journey as a student-athlete at The University of Texas at Arlington where she graduated with a Master of Public Health degree.

In the summers she returned home to intern with her optometrist, being able to see first hand the eye care patients received beyond being prescribed glasses and contact lenses. Here is where she understood how the lack of eyecare professionals impacted the health of her community, leading to her goal of becoming an optometrist. Through her public health experience, she recognized the disparities in access to vision care and the major effect they have on individuals and communities. This awareness has continued to fuel her commitment to providing comprehensive eye care services, advocating for early detection and intervention, particularly in underserved populations by being involved in volunteer opportunities such as VOSH and early childhood vision screening initiatives at Berkeley.

As a first-generation, minority, international student, Amelia is aware of the difficulties involved in navigating higher education. She is excited to answer any questions and would be happy to share with you her experiences and passion for the field of optometry, especially experiencing a unique places such as Berkeley for Optometry school!

If you have any questions, email Amelia directly at:

Ashley was born and raised in Orange County, California. She graduated from the University of California, Los Angeles in 2023 with a B.S. in Molecular, Cell, Developmental Biology and a minor in Global Health. Ashley always wanted to pursue a career in healthcare, stemming from a community-driven passion to serve. While she researched many healthcare fields, she always returned to optometry. She visited the optometrist for the first time in the second grade, when her teacher noticed she was squinting at the board, and her basketball coach noticed she was bricking shots...Now, Ashley is a 14-year contact lens veteran and one year closer to becoming an optometrist herself!

While at UCLA, Ashley further solidified her passion for optometry by working for four optometric practices, including traditional private practice, corporate, and OD/MD hybrid offices. Her diverse experiences helped her learn essential optometric clinical skills, and gained valuable insight into running different practice business models. She also continued to prioritize her commitment to community building, serving as president of UCLA’s Pre-Optometry Society, and Community Outreach for Health Literacy, while also connecting to her Japanese-American roots as a performing member of Kyodo Taiko.

While managing Berkeley’s curriculum, Ashley also is a part of her class’s Sunshine Committee, works part-time for E-team, and was recently elected as the American Optometric Student Association (AOSA) Trustee-Elect, where she advocates for optometric legislation at the national level with other optometry student trustees. In her free time, she also enjoys hiking, taiko drumming, and trying new restaurants and desserts spots with her friends.

If you have any questions, email Ashley directly at:

D'Angelo James was born and raised in St. Petersburg, Florida. At 17 years old, D'Angelo made the decision to embark on a journey of service by joining the United States Air Force. This pivotal moment marked the beginning of a transformative chapter in his life. As a young recruit, he was eager to make a difference and contribute to something greater than himself. He discovered his passion for healthcare and found his calling as a surgical technician specializing in orthopedic surgery.

Working alongside medical professionals, he learned the importance of precision, teamwork, and compassion in providing care to those in need. It was during his service that D'Angelo had the privilege of serving under a remarkable commander who was an ophthalmologist. Her dedication to her craft and commitment to improving the lives of others inspired D'Angelo to pursue a career in optometry. He was captivated by the opportunity to help people enhance their vision and quality of life.

After six years of honorable service in the Air Force, D'Angelo decided to further his education at the University of South Florida, earning a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Biology with a concentration in Biomedical Sciences. His time at USF not only expanded his knowledge but also reinforced his passion for healthcare and healing. While he did not take the OAT he remained steadfast in his determination to pursue his dream. He took a leap of faith and applied to the Herbert Wertheim School of Optometry and Vision Science, determined to continue his journey in the field of optometry.

Now, as a proud Berkeley Optometry ambassador, he welcomes the opportunity to answer any questions and offer guidance to those who envision themselves in the career of optometry!

You can contact D’Angelo directly at:

Jillian Fahey grew up in Davis, California and graduated from Chapman University with a major in Molecular Biology and a minor in Psychology. During her undergraduate time, Jillian spent a large amount of her time conducting biochemical research including developing her own macular degeneration research project. Jillian worked as an optician during undergrad and volunteered to serve the people to provide optometric care to the local LA community members. Jillian’s time spent as a Chapman student ambassador makes her excited to continue this role at Berkeley.

During her time at Berkeley, Jillian served last year as her class philanthropy chair to continue to create outlets for service in the Berkeley community. She also serves as a GA representative for the University as an advocate for our program. Jillian is continuing to pursue research working to study glaucoma through Berkeley’s T35 program. Jillian is also a part of the HPSP program for the Navy and will be serving for four years after graduation. She would love to provide any additional information if needed.

You can contact Jillian directly at:

Ty was born and raised in Campbell, California where he spent much of his time playing soccer, fishing, and discovering his love for biology. He completed his undergraduate coursework at UC Davis where he majored in Biological Sciences, worked at a fish research laboratory, and played Division 1 soccer. Originally a pre-dental student, Ty did some soul-searching in the middle of the pandemic and decided that oral health was not meant for him. An internship at a private practice in Downtown Sacramento helped to reveal that optometry was his calling.
Ty took two gap years after graduating in 2021, and worked as a technician at that same private practice. He learned about patient care, the intricacies of running an office, and even the political side of optometry. This only further cemented eyecare as his passion, and he then applied to Berkeley Optometry in 2022. In his free time, he played semi-pro soccer, traveled, and did a lot of fly fishing.

Ty chose to apply to Berkeley because of its holistic review of applications, excellent clinical faculty and didactic instructors, and proximity to home. Once classes started, he only grew to love the school more due to its strong sense of community and his lovely classmates.

Now a year into his graduate education, he still finds time to play with the Cal Men’s Club Soccer Team and also is a member of E-Team. Additionally, he is a class of 2027 co-president for the 2024-2025 term and is also a mentor for UC Berkeley’s Foresight pre-optometry club.

If you have any questions, email Ty directly at: