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Christy Matsumura


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Durham Technical Community College

Associate's degree program
2023 - 2025
  • Majors:
    • Optometry

George Fox University

Bachelor's degree program
1989 - 1993
  • Majors:
    • Education, Other
  • Not planning to go to medical school
  • Career

    • Dream career field:


    • Dream career goals:

      James Michael Morris Family Scholarship
      A few weeks ago, I noticed a lady stuck at the frame board with a collection of frames in her hands. I went over to see if I could help her. She looked at me and simply asked me to help her feel pretty. This sweet woman had just finished chemotherapy and found herself allergic to all makeup, and wanted her glasses to give her “a little something.” On that day, I wanted nothing more than to positively impact the way she saw herself reflected back. In the last couple years I crossed over from perfect vision, to fumbling with readers and now accept my new need of progressive prescription glasses for most of the day. When it hit me that my vision was not going to get better but worse, it was a very humbling moment of accepting my limitations. I became empathetic to those who struggled with their visual acuity. I decided I had the ability to do something different for work, and needed to step forward. Shortly after, I applied for the cross-training position in our Optical Department and registered for school. For the last 8 months I have been working full time split in two departments, while being a student at Durham Tech. I currently drive 5 hours round trip on my day off to be in the classroom, while spending hours studying and learning on-line. Recently, I got the full-time position as a non-licensed Optician, expediting my hands-on training. I will continue my academic program for the next year and a half. I want my optical career to be defined by a compassion for others and utilizing my skill set. In each season of my work life I have done this in fields of teaching, volunteer work and in raising my own children. My past has given me the opportunity to serve young children through senior citizens both here and abroad. My empathy ignites my desire to help as I’ve found the most rewarding environments are the ones where kindness and humanity is shared. Currently, my positive impact as an Optician, is in the small moments I have at work, like the story shared in the beginning. Having many elderly customers at work, it is with privilege that I get to explain, fit and guide these patients. When they put on their new glasses and exclaim, “I can see!” it is that familiar child-like reaction that makes me smile. They have a new excitement for what is ahead again. The first significant impact that I will make is through Durham Tech’s program called “Project SIGHT” where we reach the underprivileged community by going to Durham’s public schools to test, fit and give a new pair of glasses to every child that needs one. Being a former teacher, this is such a near and dear service to my heart as limited learning is inevitable without the ability to see clearly. These are services I want to always give of my time with. Long term, I will keep following opportunities by staying curious, and learning and growing. Who knows if working with surgery patients, or assisting in the ocular training field might be my next addition to what I have started. The James Michael Morris Family Scholarship is more than financial help, it’s a direct deposit into me. A support system gives even greater momentum to be the very best of what I can be, and I want to make an even greater positive impact in the ophthalmic service field than what I am capable of doing today.