Poor eyesight inspires man's vision to become eye doctor

Published: Jun. 5, 2018 at 3:55 PM EDT
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If not for his exceptionally poor eyesight, Therrin Wilson would not have been inspired to become an eye doctor.

As a young boy, he went for years having to squint to see what was on the classroom board at school. Now, he wants to help other kids get the help they need.

"My current vision is 20/450. So for you to see what I see, you would have to stand 450 feet away from an original image," Wilson explained.

Wilson said his mother was not able to afford glasses for him, so he didn't get his first pair until "maybe 6th or 7th grade."

The biochemistry major has one more year of school before graduating from the University of Tennessee. His scholarship from the

is helping him complete his Bachelor's degree. This will prepare him to attend graduate school to become an optometrist.

KAUL Scholarship Chair Lydia McCoy said among those who applied for the financial help, Wilson's story was impressive. McCoy said Wilson's personal struggle and his drive to achieve gives her high hopes for him.

"He is able to give back to his community, and give back to our community," McCoy said. "Hopefully his story will inspire other students."

KAUL Education Director Quineka Moten agreed.

"He worked hard. He wrote an amazing essay," Moten said. "He deserves this opportunity to he can go on to become a great, black optometrist."

Wilson received the Dr. Walter S.E. Hardy Jr Scholarship Award that goes to a college student in the health sciences. The organization encourages minority students to enter the health professions through this annual scholarship. Each December, students may apply for the next year's scholarship award.