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Jennings Sunday: Senior looking at his future

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NORTH VERNON — You might say that Jacob Fortner has a clear vision of his future.

The Jennings County High School senior has chosen to pursue a professional career path after high school: optometry.

In order to become an eye doctor, the son of Roger and Barb Fortner plans to spend three to four years obtaining his undergraduate degree at the IUPUC campus in Columbus. He then intends to commit himself to another four years at Indiana University’s School of Optometry in Bloomington.

He settled on a decision a few months ago.

“I finally sat down to decide my career path since my senior year was approaching,” Fortner said. “I like my optometrist, and his work seemed interesting. So I figured I’d pursue something that interested me.”

He added, “Working (in optometry) would be exciting and also fulfilling, knowing I’ve helped people.”

Fortner said he finds the human eye “very interesting itself. ” For example, he points out the unique relationship the eyes have with the mind.

“The human eye actually has a tiny blind spot where the optic nerve goes through the retina, but your brain uses information from the rest of your eye to fill in the gap, making it generally unnoticeable,” Fortner said.

The amount of money that an optometrist earns has not escaped his attention.

Fortner already has figured out that if he works as an optometrist from his own office, he will make an average of $143,000 a year. But if he is employed by someone else, he’ll still earn $100,000 annually.

Mitchell Sigmund is a Jennings County High School senior.

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