Replace My Contacts $1000 Academic Scholarship Opportunity!

 

 

 

Thank you for visiting our scholarship page! Submissions for this academic year, 2015-2016 are now closed.
 

 

Congratulations Kyra Gibson
on Winning the 2015-2016 Replace My Contacts Scholarship Contest!

 

We're so Proud of Everyone Who Entered and Submitted
Their Compelling Stories to Us.

 

Check Back Often Because
We'll be Announcing our new Scholarship for 2016-2017 Soon!

 
 
When is the Payout:
 
         Scholarship payout occurs in August and will be issued in one installment of $1,000.00 U.S. Dollars.
 
 
                                      ReplaceMyContacts thanks all participants in the 2015-2016 scholarship program
 
 
Please visit our Facebook page and other social media outlets throughout the year for our new scholarship announcement and other contests coming very soon!"

 

Top 10 Finalists:

1. Maya Love Pun - Barry University

2. Jonathan Fitzgibbons - Art Institute of Phoenix

3. Kyra Gibson - Downingtown West High School

4. LaQuisha Jones - Georgia Perimeter College

5. Jessica Miller - Bennett High School

6. Kenya A. Contreras - Red Springs High School

7. Erin Tillman - University of North Carolina

8. Kirsten Orr - University of Oregon

9. Jyna Maeng - University of Maryland

10. Annabelle Recierdo - Temple University

 


1. Maya Love Pun - Barry University

 

 

            When someone says “you have such beautiful eyes,” they are most likely acknowledging the fact that your eyes are a deep ocean blue, or a misty grey. They might even be referring to your calming hazel eyes, that intertwine with other earthly colors, giving them the effect of a spiraling galaxy in our universe. But, one rarely ever says, “your eyes are so beautiful, they’re so… brown.”
 
            Looking deep into my dark brown eyes can be very misleading. My eyes do not light up the way all of my friends do when I speak. One would have to solely rely on my facial expressions. When the light hits my eyes on a warm sunny day, they are simply just a lighter brown. There are no exciting spirals or variation of color, they are just another shade of brown. I knew growing up that I would never win a spot in the yearbook for best eyes. I often wondered which set of color contacts would look the most realistic against my copper skin-tone.
 
            If my eyes were the window to my soul, one might say I am dark and cold. “Your eyes are so dark, I can’t tell where you're looking,” or “your eyes are so dark, I can’t tell how you’re feeling,” they’ll say. But one day you will hear “your eyes are so dark, it’s calming. They’re so warm yet so uninviting. I feel like I could stare into them forever and still not know a thing about you, but I like that.” And quite frankly, that would change your life. You would no longer regard your eyes as “poop brown” the way your mean classmates did. They would be cool and they would be beautiful, just like everyone else’s.
 
            My eye color says I am strong. If my dark brown eyes were the window to my soul, and you stared into them as I sat at the tombstone of my fathers grave, you would say I am weak and vulnerable. If my dark brown eyes were the window to my soul, and you stared into them as the time ran out with only seven minutes to go in my final soccer match, you would say I am ruthless. You would say I am relentless. If my dark brown eyes were the window to my soul, and you stared into them as I looked upon my mother, you would say I am loving and kind. If my dark brown eyes were the window to my soul, and you stared deep into them and looked at me, but really looked at me. My dark brown eyes would say, nothing. Nothing at all.
 
            My eye color is just a color. It doesn’t define me. If my eyes are the window to my soul, then one would have to discredit my smile, or the wrinkles on my nose. My dark brown eyes initially say that I am cold and that I am heartless. In all fairness, I am sure I can be, but my eyes can not say that about me. Yes I am strong, yes I am weak, but I am also very caring and loving. My demeanor is the key to my soul.
 
            If my dark brown eyes were the window to my soul, those eyes, like anyone else’s eye color, would say, I am beautiful.

 


 2. Jonathan Fitzgibbons - Art Institute of Phoenix


Prompt: “Do you prefer contacts or glasses, and why?”


If I had to choose between contacts and glasses, my preference definitely leans toward glasses. I prefer glasses because of a moral philosophy that I hold true to my heart. Glasses tell others that you have trouble with your sight. They are an upfront and honest symbol that people can see, leaving no room for guessing. Sometimes I feel misled when I find out that someone wears contacts. It is not that I am angry with them (and in any case one’s sight does not determine character) but it is as if they are hiding a piece of themselves that has no need to be hidden.


I am proud of my glasses. They tell a little bit about me if someone’s glance were to sweep over me in passing. We do not even need to exchange a word for that stranger on the street to know that I do not have perfect vision. Even the particular style of frames can further illustrate my personality more than the general contact can. The color, lens thickness and even the option for frameless glasses allow me to personalize that which helps me see. Not only do my glasses help me see the world, but they allow me to see myself for who I am.
Wearing glasses has been a part of my daily life for about ten years, and in this time I have become very comfortable with having them with me every day. I would even go as far to say that I have developed a preference for them because of that history. In fact, I can still remember the day I first wore glasses in my life. The drops of rain falling from the skies above could not touch my eyes, and I stared confidently at the dark clouds and let the water land on the glass. My clearer vision gives arenewed appreciation to the beauty of life around me. That which was once a blur is now something I can admire.


Eyes have always been a topic of discomfort for me. In other words I get grossed out with anything dealing with eyes being touched by something else (like a finger). The idea of having to stick a contact onto my eye gives me the shivers and seeing my family or friends do it just adds to my fears. I should not have to be fearful of something that is meant to help me see. This is another reason why the golden light of preference shines upon my beloved glasses!


Glasses are more than just an option to take in order to help me see. They are something that (no matter how subtle) is a part of me and my character. My framed lenses allow me to look at the world and myself as a clear image, and I could not be happier for that exact reason.


3. Kyra Gibson - Downingtown West High School

 

 
If eyes are the windows to the soul, what does your eye color say about you?
 
Blue. The color of the beautiful, vast oceans, the color of the sky on a sunny day, and the color I associate with peace and tranquility. It is not just any blue, it is a deep, captivating blue. For a long time, I struggled with my self-confidence and body image. I would spend hour upon hour looking in mirrors, searching for something, anything, I truly loved about my appearance. Eventually I realized I had to look no further than straight into my eyes. All the beauty I saw inside myself, my personality and my love for the world, was reflected back on the outside in these eyes. It was then that I realized no matter what my body looked like, no matter how I wore my hair or what I chose to wear, my eyes would always stay the same. They would always look like they wanted to absorb everything they saw, take all those images they captured and sew a patchwork quilt that I could proudly call my soul. And in this realization I found my ability to learn to love myself again. My eye color has always been something that I strongly relate to and use to identify myself. To me, my eyes represent the freedom I feel inside as an individual. When I look into them I see a limitless sky, and behind the initial blue color I see the depth of outer space and all the universes. These are the eyes of an old soul, someone a long time ago had eyes just like mine, and they saw wonderful, emotionally moving, things during the time they were alive.
 
Just above the iris of my right eye is a small sliver of green. While this may be considered strange, I appreciate the flaw. The freckle of green showcases my uniqueness, and how I am different. My beloved little sister has stunning green eyes, and when I catch sight of her color in my eye I am reassured that I will always carry a part of her with me, no matter what stretch of distance separates us during my adventure away from home to further my education. My eyes softly mention I am intelligent, they scream of my fascination with the world, and something electric is always dancing just beneath the surface. My eyes always look hungry, like they cannot get enough of what this life has to offer, like they want to see everything there is to see. Often times I feel like I am lost for words when asked to describe myself, but I know all it would take is for someone to really look into my eyes and they would understand, just a little better, the kind of person I am. I couldn’t imagine seeing the world any other way than through my blue eyes.

 

 


4. LaQuisha Jones - Georgia Perimeter College

Why I Prefer Eyeglasses Over Contacts
 
When it comes to correcting my eye vision, I am a bit of a traditionalist. I take the more classic route: wearing glasses. Unlike contact lenses, glasses add dimension, edge and style to my face and attire. Although contact lenses provide variety as well, I have discovered that they are limited to texture (i.e. soft contact lenses); color, and length of wear time (i.e. daily wear lenses). 
 
I initially started wearing glasses in high school (2005), soon after my optometrist diagnosed me with astigmatism- a vision condition that causes blurred vision due to the irregular shape of the cornea. In 2012, I decided to try out contact lenses. I thought it would be cool to switch up my style, by using an alternative method to correct my astigmatism. However, this detour proved to be a disappointment. I tried five different prescriptions, four various brands (i.e. Acuvue) and followed up three consecutive times with my optometrist over a month and a half period. After much trial and error, it was obvious that contact lenses were not for me. At least at that time it wasn't. 
 
To continue, I think that eyeglasses are much more comfortable to wear, easier to clean and more convenient to use/retire than contact lenses. With contact lenses, one has to make sure that they keep the lenses hydrated and sterile on a consistent basis. It is even reported that for people who accidentally fall asleep with contact lenses still in their eyes, they put their self at risk of becoming blind. Eyeglasses, on the other hand, can simply be slipped off, and placed on the night stand before one goes to bed. 
 
Furthermore, the actual lenses of eyeglasses offer much variety. They can be multifocal- for people who have more than one vision problem, anti-reflective, scratch-resistant, mirror coated, tinted, and even polycarbonate-eyeglass lenses that are impact-resistant (a great selection for people who live an active lifestyle and/or are prone to drop or scratch their lenses often).
 
Lastly, outside of glasses providing adequate eye care, they can be designed in many ways. Sometimes I select my frames based on what’s trending in fashion during the time of my checkup. Other times I simply choose frames that blend well into my unique style. The frames of eyeglasses can be shaped oval, square, or round. They can be colored metallic orange, turquoise, red, plum, leopard, or simply classic black. They can be made from materials such as titanium, nylon, stainless steel, and even plastic. There is a pair of eyeglasses to satisfy any person's fancy. We all win with eyeglasses, and that too is why I prefer to wear glasses over contact lenses. 

 

 


5. Jessica Miller - Bennett High School

 

Scholarship Essay
“Wow! You really are blind!” This is a phrase that I am sure most people that wear high prescription glasses have heard once or twice in their lifetime. Personally, I can say that I am all too familiar with it. I have worn glasses ever since I can remember. I think that I first got glasses when I was in kindergarten, but it was so long ago I can hardly even remember. I do, however, remember when I got my first pair of contact lenses. It was two weeks after school started and I was in fifth grade. I was so excited that I didn’t have to worry about people judging me anymore and that I would have the freedom to experiment with makeup and sports with less hassle.
 
                As I mentioned earlier, I am very familiar with getting made fun of because of the strength of my glasses prescription. Although most people probably did not mean it to be, it was extremely embarrassing when someone would comment on the thickness of my lenses. Contacts got rid of this embarrassment completely. My first impressions are no longer based on the thickness of my glasses lenses or the fact that my eyes seem abnormally small because of the intenseness of my prescription. They can finally be based solely on my personality and my conversational skills.
 
                Secondly, contacts have given me the opportunity to explore the area of makeup. Before I got contacts, I could not even see the mirror without my glasses on. This made it extremely difficult to experiment with makeup application. After I got my contact lenses I could easily see what I was doing when I was putting on makeup and it made me feel much more confident when I left the house. It even led to me becoming an Independent Beauty Consultant with Mary Kay and starting my own business. If I was still only wearing glasses, none of this would have been possible.
 
        Finally, contacts have given me the opportunity to play sports with much greater ease. When I was younger I played basketball and had to wear prescription goggles which were cumbersome and irritating while I was trying to focus on the game. Although I do not play basketball anymore, I do play competitive softball and my contacts make it much easier to wear sunglasses and put my helmet on when I am batting. Without contacts, playing softball would be so difficult that it would not be worth it to play.
 
                Contact lenses are a major part of my life now. If I had not been able to wear contacts, every aspect of my life would be much more difficult. Although they are not the same as being able to see without aids, they are definitely better than the alternative of wearing glasses. For these and many other reasons, I would gladly chose contacts over glasses any day.  

 

 


6. Kenya A. Contreras - Red Springs High School

 

Replace My Contacts Essay
Since eye color is the most noticeable feature of color in an individual, even surpassing skin color, to most people there is some credence of the old adage that “your eyes are the window to your soul.” Today eyes are used in the media to show fictitious characters’ moods. On kids’ television shows superheroes shoot laser beams out of their eyes to demonstrate their power. On teens’ shows evil beings are portrayed with some extraordinary eye changes, often black, to show how evil they are. Are these portrayals true? Of course not. But they do emphasize how much importance eye color is to us as a way of determining the personality traits of someone.
 
History has provided us with the personalities of eye color. Everyone is familiar with someone being “green with envy” or their eyes being “red with anger” or “blue with sorrow.” We know that such descriptions are meaningless. Who really has red or golden eyes (except possibly a family of vampires in a popular teen movie)? I think maybe the “green with envy” description might actually be the reverse. Perhaps someone had beautiful green eyes and the person observing these were envious of them!
 
I am Hispanic, and one of the dominant traits of my ethnic group are brown eyes. I am proud of my heritage and feel that I am a pleasant looking young lady. However, I wear eye glasses every day for every activity. I believe my eyes are not a distinctive or even noticeable characteristic of my person. The only times recently I did not wear my eye glasses was when I attended the ROTC Military Ball at my high school and the prom this past spring. I shared photographs on Facebook. I had so many comments from friends telling me how they didn’t recognize me without my glasses and how beautiful I looked it was almost embarrassing. Was that how other people saw me?
 
Rightly or wrongly in our culture we are judged by our appearance. It seemed like from my Facebook comments that I am seen mostly as a quiet studious individual who is hiding behind my eye glasses. I would like to show others that there is more to me than that. I don’t want to be pigeon-holed as someone who has no social interactions at all.
 
I have been considering for some time about switching to eye contacts. The longer I wear eye glasses the more irritated I get. Now that the weather is warm and I am outside a lot I am developing a tan line where my glasses sit. I am involved in sports and have to constantly be taking them off and putting them back on without trying to lose them. Of course with me, because I am active I always run the risk of breaking them. I went around for months last year with my glasses taped together until my mother could afford to get me a new pair.
 
I have read about colored eye contact lens. I am especially interested in getting hazel contacts to wear. The color hazel can actually be seen as two colors, green or brown, depending on things like you clothes, your makeup, even the lighting. It would be like getting two different pairs of contacts for the price of one. I believe wearing them would give me a little more confidence in how I feel others perceive me. After all, if you feel good about yourself, you look good!

7. Erin Tillman - University of North Carolina
 
Glasses or Contact Lenses: Which Do You Prefer?
 
            “I didn’t know you wore glasses,” a phrase that everyone who does not really know me is always saying. I have had bad vision since I was in the third grade, but contacts were never the option I wanted at such a young age. Back then I wore glasses all the time and freshman year of high school I decided enough is enough and I sucked it up and got contacts. That was the best decision I have ever made. Now I cannot stand wearing my glasses because it seems to hinder me and my daily activities more than help. That is why I strongly believe that contact lenses are better than glasses because glasses hinder every day activities and just get in the way when executing everyday tasks.
 
            Some days it rains unexpectedly especially here in Greensboro, North Carolina and I just forget to bring an umbrella. Therefore I am stuck in the pouring down rain with glasses on and it seems like every five minutes I am having to use my shirt to clean my lenses off. However every time I use my shirt to clean them off I am scratching up my lenses and messing them up. That is why contacts are so much easier to handle because if you do get caught in the rain all you have to worry about is the stuff in your backpack or about your clothes and hair getting drenched. Contact lenses won’t cause you to scratch them up in the rain and they will not make that long walk home from class absolutely terrible.
 
            Nobody can deny their love for macaroni and cheese and glasses hinder the enjoyment of this American staple. The macaroni has just finished boiling, so naturally I have to strain out all of the water in order to add in the butter, milk, and cheese packet. So naturally when something has been boiling it is very hot and as you pour out all of the water that steam rises and fogs up your glasses. Even though my glasses have fogged up I have to finish pouring out the rest of the macaroni and I am just hoping the whole time that it is making it in the strainer because at this point I cannot see a thing. I keep wishing that I had some little windshield wipers for my glasses and that would make things so much easier for this task to happen. Just think if I would have worn my contact lenses I would not have ran into this issue at all and all of the macaroni would have definitely made it in the strainer safely. This proves to be another example that supports my idea that contact lenses are better because wearing glasses hinders tasks such as making macaroni along with other dishes that require straining.
 
            The examples I chose to use support my position that I believe contact lenses are better even if they are quite obscure details. Glasses effect a person’s routine activities along with extracurricular activities. I do not think that it would make sense for Michael Phelps to wear glasses when he is doing his 50 meter butterfly. That is why contact lenses are very pertinent for some specific activities such as swimming. It may just be my personal opinion, but I would much rather wear contact lenses than glasses any day.
 

8. Kirsten Orr - University of Oregon

Replace My Contacts Scholarship Essay Submission
Should Insurance Companies be Obligated to Cover the Cost of Contact Lenses?

Insurance companies should be required to cover the cost of contact lenses. The primary reason why insurance companies should cover the cost is that they are more practical than glasses in a number of settings. One reason for this is that contacts tend to improve one’s overallquality of vision. P eople who wear glasses, however, benefit from forward vision correction but not always peripheral vision correction. If a person wearing glasses looks straight down, he or she will look under the rims of their lenses. If the wearer looks as far to the right or left as possible, he or she will look past the rims of their lenses, and as a result will experience no vision correction. Contact lens wearers do not have this problem, because contacts have a concave shape that acts as a suction cup for the cornea. Therefore,  contacts move every direction that one’s eyes do and consequently improve one’s peripheral vision. Because of this, contacts are more practical and safer to wear during everyday activities that require the constant utilization of one’s peripheral vision, such as playing sports and driving. Needless to say, these activities in particular are very dangerous without normal vision (or correctedtonormal vision).

Many individuals who survive car accidents explain that the accident occurred because someone or something a car, a pedestrian, an animal“ suddenly appeared out of the corner of my eye” without warning. In that case, someone who was wearing glasses (and therefore, was experiencing little to no peripheral vision correction) would have been less likely to see whatever it was that suddenly appeared in their peripheral vision. This potentially could be a lifeordeath situation that could easily be prevented if the driver were wearing contacts. Many people are forced to choose glasses (and therefore, less vision correction) because they believe they cannot afford the cost of contact lenses. Insurance companies should solve this dilemma by covering the cost of contact lenses for those who need some level of vision correction.

Furthermore, the cost of contacts has decreased significantly over the last three decades. For example, from 1971 to 1982 the price of contacts dropped by fifty percent. Since contact lenses are not as expensive to manufacture as they used to be, insurance companies cannot argue that they are too costly to cover.

Vision exams and corrective contact lenses should be covered by insurance companies for the simple fact that their insureds’ overall health, safety and quality of life would be enhanced.

9. Jyna Maeng - University of Maryland
 
Do you prefer contacts or glasses, and why?
400-600 word essay
Contacts is Freedom Essay
 
When I was in middle school, I used to play basketball every day with the boys during P.E. class. I was the worst player on the court. I could never tell when someone was going to pass me the ball, the moment I realized they were, it was too late and WHAM! The ball would smack the center of my face, pressing metal frames into my nose and that scratched my face. Sometimes I could catch the ball and dribble it forward. I saw the winning shot, clear as day, in front of me, but then there would be a blurred vision at my peripheral and WHOOSH! The ball was ripped from my hands. I loved playing with my friends, but I hated the injuries and the lack of peripheral view from my glasses. They would slide down my face with sweat and restrict my world to the black borders of their frames, reminding me that I was trapped within what it allowed me to see.
 
I realized then that I needed to switch to contacts. The first time the optometrist tried to put contacts in my eye for me I fought her off like my life depended on it. My cousin suggested that I try to do it myself, and after an hour of deep breaths, I placed that silicon soft gel in my eye. And it was freedom itself. I could see all around me with nothing weighing down my face.
 
Ever since then, I have always preferred contacts over glasses. Yes, contacts may get dry and need to be replaced every day, two weeks, or month, but it is worth the advantages. You can do spontaneous activities without worrying if your glasses will stay on (“rollercoasters, anyone?”), where to put your glasses, or if you can even do the activity with glasses (“let’s go swimming in the ocean!”). Not only that, but my face was chronically oily and breaking out when I had glasses, but since I’ve worn contacts, my skin has cleared up dramatically. I know that others did not have this problem, but I did, and contacts cured me of it. Also, when I ate hot soup, I could finally eat it without fog overtaking my glasses and blocking my vision. I used to guess where to pick up the noodles in there.
 
Contacts have freed me from my limitations and I have never looked back since. The prices, boxes, extra care, and constant changing in and out of them is all worth the freedom they give. One winter, I ran out of contacts and had to wear glasses for a month. I developed a habit where I scrunch my face to lift my glasses back onto my nose bridge and still do it today, even when I wear contacts. It makes people think I smelled something funny in the middle of our conversations. Only one month and glasses had weirdly limited my life again. That is why I buy contacts continually now. Better safe than sorry. I prefer contacts because they have provided me with a better and more spontaneous life, full of peripheral vision, clear skin, and focused eating. I will never go back.

10. Annabelle Recierdo - Temple University

 

If eyes are the windows to the soul, what does your eye color say about you?
Nature Lover with Brown & Green Eyes
 
My old soul would prefer to be amongst nature rather than technology. But, if there is any advancement that I appreciate from this day and age, it is the opportunity to wear contacts or colored contacts. Some days I feel like wearing regular contacts and keeping my brown eyes and other days I like to wear my green contacts. At the end of the day, no matter what color eyes I have, I live in a world of beauty, charm, and adventure. The wonders are limitless – if only I seek them with my eyes open. Wearing contacts enables me to see what I appreciate most about life: nature. My brown and green eyes represent the earthy soul that I am.
 
Ever since I was little I felt naturally inclined to be outdoors. The first memory I have is wading in my kiddy pool and staring up towards the trees that hung over my deck. Whenever we had art class in elementary school, I always drew the outdoors – blue skies, green grass, tall trees, colorful flowers. As the years went by and my love for nature increased, my eyesight was diminishing. I couldn’t enjoy the same views that I was used to. Of course the beauty was still there, but my eyes could not register it. 
 
I was reluctant to get glasses but I was craving to see the world the same way I saw it before the damage was done. I could not see the finer details in life without feeling bothered by my glasses. It was almost as if it was taking away from the fulfillment of a nice view. When I went to the beach, I had to take my glasses off. When I had snowball fights with my friends, I frequently wiped my glasses. When the sun was radiating, I could not wear my glasses and sunglasses at the same time. Being outdoors just wasn’t the same.
 
Eventually, I was educated about contacts. My optometrist told me they were safe, easy to use, and convenient. She was certainly right. I remember going in for an appointment for my first fitting. She walked me through the process of cleaning contacts and putting them in. Next, she showed me the option of color contacts. My attention immediately was drawn towards the green contacts. I felt like a new person. The weight of my glasses and the weight of the burdens that came along with it were gone. I could not even feel the contacts in my eyes! All I could feel was the comfort and relief of not having to deal with glasses. In addition, I love the way I look with green eyes. With enhanced vision and eye color preference – I am confident in sight and appearance.
 
Now at 19 years old, not much has changed. My brown and green eyes are a reflection of what I hold close to my heart and soul. Nature is important to me; it grounds me and makes me a happier person. Thanks to my contacts, I can see nature with clear eyes and a clear mind.

 


 

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