by on February 17, 2013

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I had 20/12 vision until I was about fifteen. I definitely appreciated, but I didn’t realize how much until I started having trouble reading the chalk board during my Junior year in high school. Soon after I learned how life changing contact lenses (or even just glasses) can be for people with poor vision. Unfortunately, corrective lenses can’t solve all of the world’s vision problems, but there are other options. There are 36 million blind people in the world–at least one million are children in developing countries. Without treatment fifty percent of them will die within two years. SightLife is an organization that saves many of these lives. They’re based in Seattle, WA, and since 1969 they’ve been “the only non-profit global health organization solely focused on eliminating corneal blindness in the U.S. and around the world” (corneal blindness is responsible for just under a third of the world’s blindness).

Careers in Eye Banking

Every year 46,000 have their sight restored through corneal transplants (there’s a 95% success rate). SightLife and its partners provided corneas for nearly 14,000 of those transplants, so they’re having a tremendous impact on people in the 29 countries that they’re working in (there are some amazing success stories on their home page). SightLife is an “eye bank.” You can get an overview of what that is on SightLife’s Fact Sheet and learn even more on the Eye Bank Association of America website. While some of your classmates may be getting all hot and bothered over internships in iBanking (investment banking), you might want to consider a career in eye banking. SightLife’s Jobs page shows that they’re currently looking for a Global Programs Summer Intern. They d o seem to want an MBA/MHA, but I’m not sure if that’s a strict requirement. I’m also not sure whether the position is paid or not.

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