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Ali Mary Beaton


Bold Points






Optician doing life in reverse -- pursuing a degree in my career field, rather than finding a career in my degree field.


Benjamin Franklin Institute of Technology

Associate's degree program
2024 - 2025
  • Majors:
    • Ophthalmic and Optometric Support Services and Allied Professions


  • Desired degree level:

    Bachelor's degree program

  • Graduate schools of interest:

  • Transfer schools of interest:

  • Majors of interest:

  • Not planning to go to medical school
  • Career

    • Dream career field:


    • Dream career goals:

      James Michael Morris Family Scholarship
      Once upon a time there was a kid who was pretty smart and did well in school, but she was clumsy and absolutely awful at sports -- she especially struggled to understand why people loved to watch baseball. One day that kid got some bright red glasses and unlocked an entirely new world -- she learned that people were supposed to be able to read the street signs long before they were right on top of them, she learned that the leaves on the trees are shaped the same way as the leaves that fell off the trees (trees aren't just a big green puff on a brown stick!), and she even learned how to catch a ball rather than just letting it hit her in the face. She also realized that there was action happening on the baseball field -- it wasn't just a bunch of people staring at the lawn all day. This was some pretty mind-blowing stuff for a seven-year-old! That smart kid decided that these red glasses were not so bad after all -- in fact, they might even contain magic. That kid went on to get even smarter and do a lot of things with her life as she grew up, but none of them ever felt "right". She often thought about the optician who set her up with those red glasses and wondered if that might be the right path for her, too -- but instead of finding out, she worked in a lot of other fields, doing jobs that made her feel useless and just didn't make sense to her. Then, when this kid was 31, she temporarily lost her vision. When she recovered, she decided she was finished with jobs that did not make a measurable impact. That kid was me. After years of floundering in dead-end jobs, I finally started my first optical job at 35 years old, and I was hooked. Those red glasses really were magic -- they made my entire life possible -- and I realized right away that being able to give someone else the gift of vision was the thing I wanted to do. I have been working in the field for nearly five years now, and although I haven't finished my education, I have already seen the positive impact that opticians can make. We can bend light. We can fix people's broken glasses. We can help them to navigate, to read, to learn. I know, from my own experience, that vision correction changes lives. I know, from working with my patients, that my work as an optician helps them to change their lives for the better. I know that what we do really does make a difference. I look forward to earning my degree, completing the steps to become licensed, and continuing to help people to see their world through a clearer lens.