“New Eyes” for the Needy

May 4, 2012

The eyes have it. Thanks to CUNY student Jessica Carrasquillo who participated in a successful eyeglass drive this spring, with a personal goal to collect 200 pairs of eyeglasses for donation. A student of the CUNY Malave Leadership Academy, and the School of Professional Studies, Carrasquillo is working to support people in need of glasses as part of her curriculum.

“Jessica has been an extraordinary leader throughout the year; she has participated in all of our service activities and has significantly contributed to the success of this year’s cohort. The fact that she balances all her service with a family and full-time job speaks to her level of commitment to the community,” stated Kisha Fuentes, MLA Program Assistant.

The drive which ran from February, 2012 to April, 2012, collected over 500 pairs of glasses. In late May, the MLA students will donate the glasses to New Eyes for the Needy, a non-profit that distributes recycled eyeglasses through missions and international charitable organizations in developing nations. “This was the culminating service project for MLA CUNY CORPS and CLASS (Campus Leadership and Student Services) students; they did all the planning and implementation on their own. It gave them an opportunity to use the leadership and organizational skills that they had learned throughout the past year,” said Kevin Tucker, Acting Executive Director of MLA, “we are very proud of them.”

Jessica, too, is proud of the results. “We wanted to do something out-of-the-box. So why not a drive for eyeglasses?,” said Jessica. I know from my own experience with a family member that the cost for a pair can be discouraging.”

New Eyes for the Needy has brought improved vision and hope for a better future to people in the U.S. and worldwide. For more information, visit