When the world told her “no,” Dr. Paula Newsome learned to answer back, “just watch me.”
It’s because of that perseverance and ability to forge her own path that she’s now known as the first female African-American optometrist to open a practice in North Carolina and to become a fellow in the American Academy of Optometry.
Just before starting college, Dr. Newsome was inspired to go into the field of optometry when she walked into her doctor’s office for an eye exam.
“I was in this gentleman’s chair for maybe 20 minutes or so,” she said. “I went in there blurry. I came out clear, and I said, ‘I want to find out more about this field.’”
Although deciding on her future career path was easy, the journey itself was challenging. Dr. Newsome found herself losing out on jobs and opportunities, not because her resume was lacking, but because of her gender and the color of her skin. Despite those roadblocks, Dr. Newsome found a way to continue doing what she loved, opening her very own private practice in Charlotte, North Carolina.
Here is Dr. Newsome’s story.