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National Hispanic Heritage Month

National hispanic heritage month graphic featuring a Berkeley student and her parents, text reads: "In celebration of national hispanic heritage month."

We wanted to end National Hispanic Heritage Month by sharing the narrative of class of 2021 student, Rosio Sandoval.

She says:

“Being Hispanic is more than just the color of my skin or the language I speak. It is the many values that are integrated within my culture. It is appreciation, acceptance, and honest offer to help. I made my strive to uphold these values and become an Optometrist that doesn’t see the color of your skin, that doesn’t hear the accent you speak with, but rather listens to the concerns you have. Coming from a Hispanic background has taught me to listen beyond what is said.

In 1994 my parents left their hometown, El Tejero in Michoacán, México to come to Stockton, California. Their decisions brought many blessings to my family and their courage continues to inspire me. Their hard work in the fields taught me and my 6 other siblings to appreciate all their sacrifices. Our annual trips to México every December, was a continuous reminder of our traditions. The Tamales, the traditional Mole, the Posadas, the family gatherings, and our late-night conversations around the bonfire, strengthened my cultural ties.

Volunteering at health fairs in the community, I learned about the large disparity in Healthcare. It made me realize how underserved these communities were. I was able to see how difficult it was for them to communicate their needs. Not only was there a language barrier, there was also a need for more cultural awareness within the healthcare field. It is important to create a bond with your patients, to allow them to express not only their eye health concerns but the overall difficulties they have. Being able to diagnose and offer treatment is not enough when the patient doesn’t have access. I hope that I can bridge this gap for patients. I also hope that we all can become more culturally aware and that we appreciate others for who they are and learn to love the richness of where they came from.

Being part of the National Optometric Student Association is a constant reminder of my cultural values. NOSA has always motivated and supported underrepresented communities. I aspire to continue pursuing these goals in the future. When I graduate in 2021, I hope to become someone who can encourage others to pursue a career in the Optometry field and to recognize how beautiful it is to continue increasing the diversity in the field.”