November 28, 2021

INFO 10

THE TRUTH IN BLACK AND WHITE

Tevin Small has no regrets in switching careers

  • says he finds fulfillment in Optometry

By Abiola Archer

Optometrist Tevin Small catering to a patient

The modern world is full of distractions. We’re all wrapped up in social media notifications, Netflix and other things. Unlike the average 26-year-old male who is eager to play on his Ps4, troll social media sites or hang out on the block, 26-year-old Lindener, Tevin Small, has successfully completed a Bachelor of Science Degree in Optometry and now is an Optometrist, who holds two jobs, in addition to managing his own business. Small currently serves as an Optometrist at the Linden Hospital Complex (LHC), at Courts Optical (Linden Branch) and at his family’s  business “Pro Care Health Mart and Gift Center” which was established one year ago. Despite reaching the pinnacle of his career in the medical field, Small started his academic journey in the Agricultural Science field at the Mackenzie High School. Agricultural Science he said, was his passion. “After I wrote CSEC in 2011, I was eager to start my studies in Agriculture at the Guyana School of Agriculture but due to being denied placement, I was urged to join Sixth Form at the McKenzie High School.”

 Denial didn’t make him quit but to pursue other options and, in this case, Optometry, where he can serve his community, in a highly demanded field. “I completed my two years of CAPE. In addition, I was informed about the Optometry program being offered at the University of Guyana and I applied and was accepted in 2013”. However, it was four difficult years of his life. Adjusting and realigning his focus were the hardest things at the beginning but he was persistent. “The journey was hard and seemed foreign to me because I wasn’t a pure science student. My major focus was agriculture, and not biology, chemistry and those sciences. Because I knew it was a struggle for me, I pushed myself to stay in line. I was determined to graduate and obtain a Bachelor’s Degree. I viewed myself owning and managing my own optical eyewear store, and that was a great motivation. I thought to myself, how would this make my parents, friends, or even my church feel if I don’t make it to the end successfully?”

In addition to be denied entry at GSA, Tevin was also inspired to switch to the Health Science field by family members and to fulfill the dream of his late grandfather who wanted his offspring to give back to the community in a significant way. But switching wasn’t a bad idea at all, since he has no regrets. None whatsoever, the scopes are wider and there are many angles to choose from. It’s the same in other fields, somewhat, but I have no regrets.”

He revealed that the family business is also thriving and he is happy to be involved integrally. Apart from optometry services, Pro Care Health Mart and Gift Center also offers pharmacy services, doctor consults, stationary supplies and physiotherapy services. “It does get tiring many times, but I’m grateful and I know that this is just the tip of the iceberg. More things are in store. It’s dreary but I had to create a schedule where every place of employment is comfortable. I don’t manage well some days, I won’t lie, but it’s a good offered service that is sometimes taken for granted and I believe I can make a great impact, so I persevere.”  He said, it is an honor to give back to his community. “Interacting with people is my daily task or job. Making them feel comfortable upon entry to the eye clinic and satisfied and informed upon exit. It all starts with kindness and humility.”

Tevin Small

In the next five years, Small sees expansion for his business , probably doing a Masters in Optometry and passing on his knowledge in the form of training and education. After his Masters he said, “I see myself doing a lot more within the community of Linden and even Guyana at large in terms of preventing sight loss and eye problems.”

At the age of four, Tevin was paralysed which reversed itself by the use of medications and the grace of God, he believes. Since then he has committed his life to Christianity and has kept a healthy schedule in this regard as well.  “I love God and work hard daily to become a better version of myself”, he expressed.

His encouragement to other youths is to, “Follow your dreams and aspire to make a difference. There’s a lot of opportunities out there for you, so grab hold of the one that best suits you and positively impact change in the world you live in.”