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Mentor Program Helps Minority Optometry Students and Brad Pitt’s Role in De Rigo’s Busy Summer

National optical retailer partners with autism nonprofit to promote inclusive shopping




Mentor Program Helps Minority Optometry Students and Brad Pitt’s Role in De Rigo’s Busy Summer
Students participating in the Visioning the Future Mentorship Program representing eight Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) were recently recognized at a virtual ceremony for being accepted into schools of optometry. (Courtesy)

Dr. Marvin R. Poston is a groundbreaking figure in the field of optometry.

He was the first Black American to earn admittance to the University of California, Berkeley School of Optometry in 1938. He opened the first Black-owned optometric practice west of the Rockies in downtown Oakland. He eventually became a founding member of VSP Vision.

His list of career accomplishments is impressive. It is perhaps only eclipsed by his work as a mentor to young optometrists, especially minorities looking to break into the field.

Dr. Poston passed in 2002 at the age of 87. But his legacy continues to this day.

The Dr. Marvin R. Poston Education and Development Foundation, the National Optometric Association (NOA), and VSP Vision joined forces in 2019 in creating the Visioning the Future Mentorship Program to increase representation in the eyecare industry by helping students from Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) earn acceptance into schools of optometry across the country.

A group of 12 students were the latest awardees:

  • Makayla Marie Cain – Salus University
  • Jacory Kentrell Clayton – Kentucky College of Optometry
  • Kelly U. Echeta – Ohio State University
  • Chyna Allyssa Fitzgerald – University of Alabama at Birmingham
  • Kaylan Darius Glover – Kentucky College of Optometry
  • Taea Evelyn Mae Jackson – University of California, Berkeley
  • Patria T. Juzang – University of Alabama
  • Breunna Divione McCann – Indiana University Bloomington
  • De’Ja Simone Montgomery – University of Houston
  • Jerbrea Marie Powell – Southern College of Optometry
  • Madison T. Roney – New England College of Optometry
  • Shirmarie Lyrell Stark – Massachusetts College of Pharmacy & Health Sciences School of Optometry

The students were awarded nearly $48,000 in combined financial support. They also will have access to career-planning services, networking opportunities, and various resources to advance their education.

De Rigo REM Enjoying Busy Summer

De Rigo REM, the Los Angeles-based subsidiary of Italian eyewear manufacturer De Rigo, is having one heck of a summer.

De Rigo kicked off the sunny season with an impressive expansion of its North American sales team. The company onboarded 12 new team members in June, including Leo Ranieri who enjoyed successful stints at Luxottica and Safilo Group before joining De Rigo to serve as its new Central Midwest Regional Sales Manager.

One of De Rigo REM’s brands — Police — is also having a big summer.

Have you seen the new Brad Pitt vehicle Bullet Train? The critical reviews are mixed but the movie is scoring well enough with the general public.


Of course, what you think of the film probably depends on what you think of Brad Pitt. And helping Brad Pitt pull off Brad Pitt things in this flick is an ever-present pair of Police specs.

From De Rigo:

For the main character of Ladybug, played by Oscar-winning actor Brad Pitt, Police has selected an iconic eyewear style that characterizes the protagonist’s look. A glossy black acetate prescription style sporting bold thicknesses, a decisive squared front piece, and temples embellished with the iconic Police eagle logo of ‘90s inspiration.

You can check out the film’s trailer below to see the Police eyewear, and Brad Pitt, in action.

Eyemart Express Launches Inclusive Back-to-School Shopping

National chains aren’t really our audience, but it is nice when we can share unquestionably positive news from one of the big players.

Eyemart Express recently announced a partnership with an autism nonprofit to help children ahead of the upcoming school year. The optical retailer will host inclusive shopping experiences for autistic children and their families.


The Texas-based company has launched this nationwide initiative in concert with Autism Society of Texas (AST).

AST designed unique training for Eyemart Express associates to help them support individual customers with varying needs.

You can read more about this inclusive shopping partnership online.

Good Views is where we catch up on positive news, updates, and tidbits from the world of eyewear and eyecare. Have something you’d like to share for a future digest post? Send it my way!



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