EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA


March 10, 2013

Andover teen's nonprofit provides eyeglasses for kids

ANDOVER — Niko Skrivanos has worn eyeglasses since he was 2 years old and needs them every minute he’s awake.

He’d be happy if he could have 20/20 vision but at least Niko, 13, the son of Konse and Lorna Skrivanos of North Andover, never had to worry about being able to afford an eye examination or spectacles. As he got older and became aware that there are many children who need glasses but lack the means to pay for them, he decided to do something about it.

So two years ago, he founded Eye-See, a nonprofit charity that raises money to pay for eye exams and corrective lenses for children whose families are having a hard time making ends meet.

“I wanted to do something to give back,” explained Niko, an eighth-grader at the Pike School in Andover. Besides helping kids who need glasses, he said he wanted to “raise awareness” of the fact that many children have a difficult time seeing things.

Niko has formed a partnership with Andover Eye Care at 77 Main St. Todd Berberian, the optician who owns and operates the business, said Niko has “always been a mindful, generous young man.”

Niko, who went to Andover Eye Care for his first pair of glasses, also has “an understanding of a child not being able to see,” he said.

Two years ago, Berberian recalled, Niko came to him and said, “I have a question for you.” He asked to enlist Berberian’s help in setting up a nonprofit to help children who need eyeglasses but can’t pay for them, he said.

Since then, Eye-See has provided for the vision needs of 30 children, Berberian estimated. Dr. Charlene Glynn, an optometrist who works at Andover Eye Care, does the eye exams.

Berberian then crafts the lenses so eager young students such as Wisdom Coates, 10, a fourth-grader at Silver Hill Horace Mann Charter School in Haverhill, can see the blackboard.

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