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Black History Month: Student Stories

Black History month is a time where we honor the contribution and accomplishments of African Americans across the US and beyond. In honor of this month, we would like to celebrate students of the Berkeley Optometry and Vision Science programs by sharing their stories with you. Read the experiences of Lauren King (c/o 2025) and Taea Jackson (c/o 2025):

Lauren King (Class of 2025)

I wouldn’t be the aspiring optometrist I am today without the vast experiences I’ve had as Black woman.  Growing up, I first-hand witnessed the the health disparities that persist amongst the African American community. This is what amplifies my purpose as a future optometrist. I aim to be a source of representation and inspiration for the young black girls that come after me. I hope one day to be an eye care provider who not only advocates for the African American community, but is dedicated to the work of improving outcomes in all underrepresented populations.

Taea Jackson (Class of 2025)

My experience, as a black woman,  has made the journey to becoming an optometrist one I value greatly. Being in a space where there are a few that look like myself encourages me to make every effort to be successful so I can advocate and one day treat ocular diseases that affect my community the most. I am so grateful for the small community of black optometrists who continually uplift and support me. I look forward to when I am able to pay it forward and assist black students pursuing this progressing field.