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New Glasses Change Perspectives

New Glasses Change Perspectives

By Alison Hoyer, Promise Fellow at MERC Alternative High School


At the beginning of October, another AmeriCorps member and I chaperoned a group of our students to participate in the One Sight free eye exams and glasses drive. This was an amazing opportunity provided by caring volunteers, and the students were wonderful and gracious representatives of our school.

Three students who were also set to receive glasses did not arrive on time the first day, and missed the group’s departure. However, I was able to take this group of three students back to One Sight the next day so that they could also receive the eye exams and free glasses. Two of the students who went on the second day are on my Focus List, so this was a good time to connect with them more on an individual level. While we were waiting for their glasses to be done, we all created thank you cards and gave them to the lead coordinators. After giving them the thank you cards, one of my students said, “Wow, look how happy they are,” observing that people appreciate being acknowledged for their time and energy.

Since they got them, the students have been wearing their glasses every day. I’ve experienced a much more gracious and trusting reception from these two students, and I attribute this development to having guided them into a space where people were well-intentioned, helpful, and provided them with the precious gift of clear sight.

Last week, the lead coordinator stopped by MERC to drop off the last three pairs of glasses. I took her on a tour around the school, introduced her to the teachers, and also gathered the group of students who all received glasses for a picture. The students were all such excellent hosts, and the result of their gratitude and respect is that this partnership has opened up to MERC students beyond this one-time occurrence. The lead coordinator offered free eye exams and glasses at her store in Roseville to any future students in need of this service!

[From “Voices From the Field: Reflections from Minnesota Alliance With Youth’s AmeriCorps Promise Fellows.” Fall 2014.]

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