Making a Difference: The Impact of Licensed Professionals

Photo collage of health, design, and business professionals

New York’s licensed professionals make a difference. Here are a few examples of how their work is present in our everyday lives:

  • Licensed professionals help us to stay healthy and to recover from illness, injury, and disease.

  • Licensed professionals design the environments in which we live. This includes the structures that shelter us and the systems that help our civilization to function: buildings, bridges, and roads; energy, water, transportation, communications, and waste systems; and the manufacturing that supports those systems.

  • Licensed professionals seek to ensure the integrity, accuracy, and reliability of our financial transactions—from the personal to the global.

The professions licensed by the State Education Department offer rewarding careers. More than that, licensed professionals help individuals and communities every day.


Making a Difference: School Vision Health Initiative

The School Vision Health initiative, a partnership between the New York State Education Department, the New York State Optometric Association (NYSOA), the New York State Society of Opticians (NYSSO), and VSP Global, provides no-cost comprehensive eye exams and glasses to students in need.

  • In October 2017, volunteer doctors of optometry conducted 152 comprehensive eye exams, and free eyeglasses were provided to students if prescribed. In addition, VSP Global donated Eyes of Hope gift certificates to assist another 250 students with no-cost eye exams and glasses.
  • In October 2018, 179 students received comprehensive eye exams, 135 of the students received free eyeglasses, and an additional 140 Eyes of Hope gift certificates were provided.
  • In March 2019, 152 students in 2 school districts received comprehensive eye exams and 129 students received glasses.

Below is a video overview of the 2018 event featuring the work of NYSED, VSP, and the New York State licensed professionals who volunteered their time.

Music: “Perspectives" Kevin MacLeod (
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License

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Making a Difference: Future City

Collage of students demonstrating their Future City models

Future City is a national project-based learning program sponsored by Discover E and National Engineers Week. Students in grades 6-8 work with a teacher-coach and engineering mentor to design their future city. Each year’s theme relates to making the world a better place. This year’s theme was Powering Our Future! (designing a resilient power grid).

  • The State Education Department and the Office of the Professions welcomed local student teams from the 2019 Future City Competition.
  • The participating teams include Coxsackie-Athens Middle School and Richard H. O’Rourke Middle School (Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake). O’Rourke Middle School won the regional competition and placed 9th out of 44 teams and won the specialty award for Best Futuristic City at the National Competition in Washington DC.

  • The teams demonstrated and described their projects. In addition to applying the science, they worked to organize and communicate their ideas for a broad audience.

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Last Updated: June 13, 2019