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Maxwell Hosts Recipients of Opening Your Eyes: The Vision Council Scholarship Fund During Event in New York City

As he’s gearing up for his first gig in almost two years, as co-headliner at H.E.R.’s Lights On Festival in Brooklyn in October, and working on new music, soul star Maxwell presented scholarships last week to three young students who are entering the eye care and optical industry. The details are below:

Alexandria, VA – Aug. 31, 2021 – Last week, on Wednesday, August 25, three-time Grammy winner, and modern soul star, Maxwell, honored three recipients of the Opening Your Eyes: The Vision Council Scholarship Fund at the Times Square EDITION hotel. During the celebratory event, Maxwell, on behalf of The Vision Council, presented three of the recipients with their scholarships – Jaedon-King Fletcher, Diya Folia and Melissa Bottex. The four additional scholarship recipients, who were selected in July 2021, are: Genesis Opokularbi; Aaron Nyambe; JonChris Valerio; and Anastacia Paul. The event was co-hosted by STATE Optical Co.

Maxwell honors three recipients of the Opening Your Eyes: The Vision Council Scholarship Fund at the Times Square EDITION hotel

From left to right – Front: Tarrence Lackran (VP, Community Relations – Diversity & Inclusion at Luxury Optical Holdings), Diya Folia (Student), Melissa Bottex (Student), Selima Salaun (Founder/Creative Director at Selima Optique), Jeff Press (Chief Creative at Luxury Optical Holdings), Nicolas Roseillier (Creative Director at STATE Optical Co.)

Back: Timothy Mayhew (CEO at Luxury Optical Holdings), Maxwell, Jaedon King-Fletcher (Student)

Photo credit: Toni Dubois

To download a hi-res photo from the event, click here.

“These students are amazing,” said Maxwell. “I was so proud to have a small part in paying it forward to the next generation of strivers. To see their passion and drive to succeed was inspiring.”

The event marks a continuation of Maxwell and STATE Optical Co.’s support of Opening Your Eyes: The Vision Council Scholarship Fund. In February 2021, STATE Optical Co. announced the STATE X Maxwell Collaboration with a limited-edition sunglass style designed in partnership with Maxwell. A portion of the proceeds from the limited-edition line will be donated to Opening Your Eyes: The Vision Council Scholarship Fund. The design of REUNION takes inspiration from Maxwell’s trademark trailblazing, modern soul sound.

Opening Your Eyes: The Vision Council Scholarship Fund is a new program of the Better Vision Institute, the related educational foundation of The Vision Council, and is designed to support high school students in marginalized communities throughout the United States who have an interest in pursuing a career in the optical industry. The program will support these selected students through monetary scholarships to opticianry school, paid internships and mentorships. The intent of the program is to launch a far-reaching effort that can expand to other segments of the industry.

To contribute to the scholarship program directly, click here.

The Vision Council will continue to welcome the scholarship recipients to the vision care industry at Vision Expo West 2021, taking place September 22–25 in Las Vegas. On Thursday, September 23 from 2:15–2:45, the scholarship recipients will be introduced to the industry during a special EYE2EYE Series Panel moderated by Tarrence Lackran, Vice President, Community Relations – Diversity and Inclusion, at Luxury Optical Holdings. For more information on the event, click here.

Supporters of Opening Your Eyes: The Vision Council Scholarship Fund include:

  • CooperVision
  • DeRigo REM
  • Europa Eyewear
  • Eschenbach Optik
  • EssilorLuxottica
  • Jobson
  • Luxury Optical Holdings
  • MODO Eyewear
  • MyEyeDr.
  • National Vision, Inc.
  • Opticians Association of America
  • The Vision Council and RX

For more information on the scholarship program and The Vision Council’s diversity, equity and inclusion efforts, click here.


As the vision care leader in enabling better vision for better lives, The Vision Council positions its members for success by promoting growth in the vision care industry through education, advocacy, research, consumer outreach, strategic relationship building and industry forums. Furthermore, through Vision Health Alliance, The Vision Council supports consumer education around eyewear and eyecare.


Maxwell has artfully managed to transfix music lovers for more than two decades, releasing five studio albums, all in his own time and all duly anointed as classics. The soul singer redefined soul music in April of 1996 when he released his critically acclaimed debut on Columbia, 'Maxwell's Urban Hang Suite.' It earned Grammy nominations, double platinum status and RIAA gold for the single, "Ascension (Don't Ever Wonder)." The platinum albums 'Embrya' (1998) and 'Now' (2001) followed. After eight years, 2009's 'BLACKsummers'night' debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 and won two Grammys, including Best R&B Album. To date, Maxwell has achieved 4 platinum album certifications from the RIAA. His last album ‘blackSUMMERS’night,’ the second installment of his musical trilogy, earned Maxwell his third-Grammy (Best R&B Song for “Lake By The Ocean”) an NAACP Image Award (Outstanding Male Artist), and a Soul Train Award (Best R&B/Soul Male Artist).

For more information on Maxwell, please contact Mark Satlof ( at Shore Fire Media.