"As the 2015 OAA [Opticians Association of America] State Leadership approaches, OAA is once again hosting a program to encourage state associations to invest in the future leaders of the opticianry profession - students and apprentices." So went the OAA newsletter email we recently received. "In an effort to encourage successive leadership within both state associations and our industry, OAA would like to have every state association bring a student/apprentice to the 2015 OAA State Leadership Conference in February.
"Also, OAA realizes that every state does not have an association, so OAA is also encouraging any student/apprentice who is interested in becoming an industry leader to apply for a travel grant. It is commonly said that 'the youth are our future.' We hope that you will agree and join with OAA in our continual effort to invest in the development of leadership potential within the brightest and most promising students and apprentices in opticianry.
"In order to ease the financial burden for state associations, students, and apprentices, OAA has waived the conference registration fee for this special group. In addition, for those state associations and students/apprentices that are unable to financially participate in this effort, OAA is offering a grant of up to $1,000 per student/apprentice.
"There are a limited number of students/apprentices who can be fully supported, so each state association needing financial assistance can click here for the grant application. Each grant application recommending a student/apprentice must be completed by a state association and submitted by November 21, 2014 in order to be considered. Every student/apprentice wishing to receive a travel grant who is not associated with their state association can do so by clicking here. All grant requests must be submitted by November 21, 2014 in order to be considered."