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Berkeley Optometry Students Awarded Schweitzer Fellowship

Two female students in the courtyard.

Berkeley Optometry students Natalia Santizo and Courtney Robinson have been awarded Schweitzer Fellowships. The Schweitzer Fellowship was created in honor of Albert Schweitzer (1875-1965), a German pastor, university professor, and author who, at the age of 30, decided to become a medical doctor and devote the rest of his life to serving the people of Africa. He and his wife opened a hospital in Lambaréné, Gabon, which developed into a well-respected hospital that is still serving patients to this day. There are multiple US chapters, including a San Francisco Bay Area chapter. Each fellow is chosen from various graduate programs throughout the Bay Area. Working in collaboration with a local community agency, Fellows design and carry out a service project of at least 200 hours that addresses an unmet health need for an underserved population in collaboration with a community organization.

Since 2007, more than 130 Schweitzer Fellows have provided over 26,000 hours of service to the Bay Area’s most vulnerable communities.

For their project, Courtney and Natalia will be addressing overlooked eye care deficits of Oakland Unified School District students. The goal of their project, “Oakland in Focus,” is to screen for potential vision-related learning differences and other ocular pathologies. They will connect these students with respective providers that will offer them the individualized care they need and deserve.

Congrats Courtney and Natalia!