Community can mean different things to different people. It can refer to the people you work or study around. It can refer to the people you live with and amongst. It can refer to people across the globe you feel a special kinship with through volunteering. Or it can mean all those things. For Tracy Matchinski, OD ’95, it is the latter.
Dr. Matchinski’s sense of community was influenced by her work and relationship with her mentor, Alfred Rosenbloom, OD ’48 and the first volunteer trip she made to Morocco at his request. That trip would go on to shape her career and her commitment to community.
“I had always had it in mind to create a scholarship when the time was right,” says Dr. Matchinski. But how do you know when the time is right for something like making a financial commitment to support the students in your community? “What am I waiting for?” Dr. Matchinski asked herself, “If I can do it now, why not now?”
And so, she did.
In partnership with the Rosenbloom family, Dr. Matchinski has endowed the Rosenbloom-Matchinski Scholarship that will be awarded to two students annually, recognizing their community service endeavors. “The students are so energetic and so excited that I want to support them and the work they want to do. There was no reason to wait until I retire.”
Given the commitment ICO has prioritized to the local community in honor of the sesquicentennial, Dr. Matchinski worked with the Development office to tailor a donation that honored her expanded idea of community. “I like what Development is doing with donations. It’s not just writing a check, but they encourage you to find your passion and reflect that in a donation. ICO and optometry have been good to me. Optometry has been good to a lot of us. I wanted to find a way to weave this into my finances and it worked. We don’t always know what we can do unless we see someone else do it. We all need to be kinder and give more. I hope it inspires students.”