Fayiz Mahgoub holding Dr. Poston Award in front of NOSA backdrop

Optometry Student Aims to Make a Difference Through Service

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Meet Fayiz Mahgoub, future optometrist and fourth-year optometry student at the Western University of Health and Sciences College of Optometry, and a 2017 recipient of VSP Global’s Dr. Marvin R. Poston Leadership Award.

“My dream is to make a difference in the world through furthering the visual well-being of our society,” Mahgoub said. “My hope is to work toward this goal by providing compassionate care to my future patients and working with organizations to increase access to eye care for those in need.”

Mahgoub exemplifies the entrepreneurial and inclusive leadership for which this award was intended.

The award honors the legacy of Dr. Marvin R. Poston, who was one of the original founders of VSP Vision Care, then known as California Vision Services. It recognizes outstanding students and members of the National Optometric Student Association (NOSA). Dr. Poston was also the first African American individual in optometry to be admitted to the University of California, Berkeley School of Optometry, graduating in 1939 (the second African American optometrist to graduate was in 1962).

“It was an honor to receive the award,” Mahgoub said. “Being associated with the pioneering spirit of Dr. Poston was very humbling. Being recognized made me feel that I had a platform through which I can champion the value of service.”

“He persevered through many adversities to accomplish many firsts,” Mahgoub added. “Because of Dr. Poston’s achievements, many students like me can dream bigger, because we have a different understanding of what’s possible.”

Mahgoub carves his own path today, one including heavy involvement in NOSA, an organization he identifies with greatly due to its emphasis on community service and its celebration of diversity. He serves as a mentor to other optometry students, and is joining the National Optometric Association’s (NOA) Strategic Planning Committee.

“The organizations also play a key role in championing diversity in optometry and raising awareness about the need for increased access to eye care in minority and under-served communities,” Mahgoub said.

And soon enough, he’ll be serving his own patients the exact same way.

“I envision this journey to include operating a private optometry practice and volunteering locally, as well as overseas,” he said. “I think that my generation has a lot to contribute to improving the world’s visual health because we are passionate and resourceful.”

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