Ed Hernandez, OD, has been a longtime supporter and donor to the College of Optometry at WesternU. He helped establish in Fall 2019 a mentoring program supporting College of Optometry Latino students. He hosted a dinner and met Latino students across all cohorts.
He also established the Optometric Professional Leadership Development Endowment through the College, committing to the co-curricular support of minority students through mentorship and leadership development.
What inspires you to give?
To provide resources to Latino students who need financial resources as well as mentoring while in optometry school, and to encourage them to provide care in communities of need.
Is your giving inspired by someone or something in particular? Please share about your unique inspiration.
My giving was inspired by the help that I received while in optometry school. Having come from a working class family with limited resources, and being the first in my family to attend college, the help I received made a big difference in allowing me to complete my studies. I wanted to help Latino students with similar backgrounds and challenges that I faced and wanted to make a difference in their lives.
What message would you use to inspire others to give?
The message that I have is to help those who are less fortunate and encourage them to participate as health care providers in communities of need. The mentorship program that was started at WesternU for Latino optometry students has been extremely rewarding working with the students and knowing that the money donated will help students financially while in optometry school.
What would you like the recipients of your gift to know?
To become an integral part of our health care system, become an active participant in their prospective communities, become leaders within their communities as well as their profession, and provide compassionate, culturally-sensitive health care.