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Pittsburgh, May 14, 2010 – Can you remember your first eye examination? Sam Flori, a recent graduate of La Roche College in Pittsburgh can recall his experience vividly. In fact, his fifth grade eye examination inspired him to become an optometrist.

Flori, who graduated May 8 from La Roche with a bachelor’s degree in biology and a 3.8 GPA, has been accepted into the Pennsylvania College of Optometry (PCO) in the Elkins Park suburb of Philadelphia this fall. It is one of only 21 programs in the United States. Flori, a Greensburg, Pa., native, will spend the next four years at PCO, graduating with a bachelor’s degree in vision and a Doctor of Optometry (OD) degree. Flori said he believes that La Roche has prepared him for a career in optometry.

“The science professors at La Roche College are some of the most intellectual educators I have ever learned from because they all have post-doctoral experience,” he said. His education went beyond the classroom; Flori noted that the wide range of students he met at the McCandless Township campus has prepared him for moving on to PCO. “PCO has the most diverse student population, and La Roche has opened my eyes and prepared me for the diversity,” he said.

In addition to his classroom experience, Flori shadowed three Greensburg optometrists to help prepare him for entry into the program. While at La Roche, he also worked with a Pittsburgh area ophthalmologist. He shared his own knowledge, as well, tutoring for three years in the office of Academic Enrichment and helping students in math, physics, chemistry and biology. In his leisure time, he was the founder and president of the Ping-Pong Club at La Roche.

In the future, Flori wants to open a private practice in Greensburg. He is pleased with the educational foundation he built at La Roche, one that will ultimately help make that dream from fifth grade come true.

“La Roche has been a great environment for learning, and now I think I’m ready to fulfill my goals.”

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