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November 2022: Alek Karthikeyan

Alek Karthikeyan is currently a 4th year student at the Illinois College of Optometry. He was raised in Brampton, ON and graduated high school in 2015. He then went on to complete his Bachelors in Health Sciences from Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, ON. Throughout these years Alek realized he found tremendous fulfillment from helping people. This realization started in high school when he started working as a Lifeguard/Swim Instructor. This continued into University when he served as an Emergency First Responder for on-campus emergencies. These positions helped Alek realize that he wanted to pursue a career that involved helping people at some capacity. This eventually led him to the Illinois College of Optometry in 2019.

During his first year, he became active in his CAOS club as a first year representative and was awarded the Cribb Leadership and Service scholarship. During his second year he was fortunate to go on a SVOSH trip to St.Lucia where he was able to provide free eye exams for around 2000 locals. During his third year, he was motivated to take on more responsibilities and became the president of his CAOS chapter. During these 3 years, it was always important for Alek to foster an environment where his fellow Canadians felt at home and supported. He used this role to continue to further this initiative by organizing Canadian Thanksgiving, Christmas events, etc. During his free time Alek loves playing soccer, working out and reading. He played intramural soccer during his 3 years in school and collected all 3 championships along the way!

Alek is now in his 4th year doing externship rotations in Atlanta, Florida, Chicago and Brantford. Following graduation, he hopes to pursue a residency in Ocular Disease and continue being a forever learner. He also hopes to be involved in Academia in some way, by being a mentor and role model for incoming students and current students. Feel free to reach out to him for questions about anything, he is always happy to help! Instagram: alek_karth


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