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Jennifer Staple in Ghana and India

  • Story Highlights
  • Jennifer Staple will report on her experiences in Ghana and India
  • At university she founded the non-profit organization Unite For Sight
  • She will lead a trip to take her charitable work overseas
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(CNN) -- What most of us take for granted, assuming you are reading this page, has become an obsession for our next member of Be the Change, who is from the U.S.

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At 26, Jennifer Staple has already proven herself a caring and accomplished individual.

Graduation from Yale University, for most over-achievers, marks the launch of a stellar career in business, politics, law or medicine. But Jennifer has put her pursuit of a medical degree at Stanford University on hold as she works to better the lives of others.

It's really quite simple. Jennifer believes everyone should be able to see, regardless of their ability to pay for something as basic as sunglasses, eyeglasses, or even sight-restoring surgery.

"It's so satisfying and so gratifying to be able to hear the patients and their stories when they have their sight restored," Jennifer said.

This compassion followed her to Yale University, where as a sophomore she founded what is now an international non-profit organization -- Unite For Sight.

Jennifer and her army of volunteers (more than 4,000 at last count), have provided vision screening and education to some 500,000 people, free of charge.

More than 9,500 people who lost their sight to cataracts and other eye disease have had their vision restored through surgeries provided by Unite for Sight volunteers. They hope to push that number to 12,000 by year's end.

It is that moment when patients open their eyes and can see again that touches Jennifer. Check out her photo gallery or link to her website and see for yourself.

While Jennifer's efforts began in her hometown, they have expanded and today Unite for Sight is hard at work in North America and roughly 10 additional countries.

Jennifer will travel to Ghana and India in the coming months, as well as writing a blog about her work at home.

With all this dedication to others, I asked her if she ever feels like she missed out on being a kid, or an irresponsible college student, to which she replied, "nothing is more gratifying than being able to run the organization's programs and help so many people throughout the world."

That's vintage Jennifer -- her work is truly inspiring. E-mail to a friend E-mail to a friend

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