Teen’s mission to help kids see

By Casey Frye, CCNN Writer

eye exam for kid
Gupta enjoys traveling to different countries and assisting optometrists with eye exams. The joy on a child’s face when they receive their first pair of glasses keeps him motivated!

When 14-year old Yash Gupta broke his glasses, everyday activities were suddenly much more difficult. “I just couldn’t see anything,” said Gupta, who is now 17. “I couldn’t see in the classroom; I would get easily distracted… Just basic stuff I used to do every day, I couldn’t do.”

Even with 10 pairs of old glasses lying around the house, Gupta had to wait a whole week for a new pair. However, there’s about 12 million children in the world that need glasses but don’t have any. Gupta then thought to himself: there must be thousands of other homes with old glasses just lying around, so why not collect them? So, in 2011, he started the Sight Learning organization, which collects unused eyewear from optometrist patients and ensures they’re distributed to children worldwide.

Since then, he’s donated around 9,500 pairs of glasses to young kids in Haiti, Honduras, India, and Mexico. “It’s just a total disadvantage for them, because [if] you can’t see anything… you definitely can’t make the most of the education you’re being given,” he said. “It would be impossible for them to fully achieve their potential.” If children reach that potential, they have the opportunity to better their lives. “A lot of times, these families are in poverty,” he said. “With a good education, you know, they can get a good job and get a good career.”

Due to his inspiring work, Gupta was honored at the White House earlier this year. What does he think about his own remarkable achievements? “Kids are passionate and can make a difference. It’s just matter of finding out what you care about and focusing on that.”

Images courtesy of Sight Learning.