Ever since my sophomore year in high school, I have always known I wanted to pursue a career in optometry. In second grade, when I got my first pair of glasses, I fell in love with my visits to the eye doctor. It was the only doctors visits I ever looked forward to going to.
After graduating high school, I started my undergrad degree and started taking the classes I needed to apply for optometry school. In the middle of my college career I had questioned if I truly wanted to pursue optometry as a career. I ended up changing my major three times and stuck with a degree in communications.
After I decided to go the path of a communications major, I applied to become a vision therapist here at the Vision Learning Center. My friend/ co-worker is the one who introduced me to the position, because she knew that I had always been interested in becoming an eye doctor. Deep down inside I was still very interested in the eyes and how they work. I felt like this would help me decide if I was going down the right path.
I was hired in September of 2013 and started my training to become a vision therapist. I have to say that becoming a vision therapist opened up my eyes greatly, figuratively of course. It reassured me that I do want to continue down the path of becoming an optometrist one day. With myself already finishing up my degree in communications, I decided to go on with taking classes for both communication and my prerequisite classes to apply to optometry school. I graduated University of St Thomas in 2015, and am currently still in the process of applying to the University of Houston Optometry Program.
I have learned so much by becoming a vision therapist and have so much more to learn. Working with all these patients for almost 4 years has, by far, been the most rewarding thing I’ve done. It’s that sense of helping others, who need your help, to better themselves in school or in daily life activities. We are helping to make their world a little better. I want to be able to grow more in my knowledge and go out and help others who may not necessarily know they need our help or who are less privileged.
I have been able to see vision therapy help so many people. The happiness on our patient’s face can tell you a lot and my number one thing I love and always try to aim for is happiness. One day, when I become an optometrist, that will be the best part of my day seeing smiles on all the patients faces. Until then, I will continue working as a vision therapist until my dream turns into reality.
Jonathan Cruz, OVT