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Meet KinderEye's Founder and CEO, Mayah Singh

NYU junior Mayah Singh combines her Guyanese identity with her philanthropic work. 

Caribbean Heritage Month Feature

By: Leila Biola Olukoga

Sumintra is more than just a name to Mayah Singh. It is both her middle name and her grandmother’s name, representing her familial ties and Guyanese culture. As Singh learned more about her culture, her passion for giving back to her country blossomed. 

Now, as a rising junior at New York University, Singh aims to give back to her home country through philanthropic work. As the founder and CEO of KinderEye, a nonprofit organization based in Guyana, Singh’s work provides free eye tests and prescription glasses to Guyanese children.

“I actually created KinderEye because with both of my parents growing up in Guyana, it was very hard for them to make ends meet and afford eyeglasses,” Singh said. “It was just hard for [my mom’s] family to make ends meet and be able to afford to get her glasses, so that really sparked an interest.”

As a Global Public Health major with a Chemistry minor, Singh combines her academic interests with her philanthropic efforts in Guyana. Her extracurriculars include clinical research at NYU Langone Health Center, membership in NYU’s VAW Medical Chapter, and Give Kids the World, a nonprofit independently created and funded by Disney. 

“Deciding that I wanted to go into medicine specifically came from my family and I’s donations to Operation Smile,” Singh said. “We’ve always donated to [Operation Smile] to surgically fix cleft lip for children around the world. I was always fascinated with how such a quick surgery like that can fully change a person's life so that’s where [my interest] comes in.”

Singh founded KinderEye in the August of 2022, initiating her dream of supporting those in rural parts of Guyana.

“We served four schools [in Guyana] with KinderEye, and we’ve expanded our team from three to twenty volunteers,” Singh said. “We hope that in the future we can go back to previous schools that we have given to and potentially create a literary review.”

Singh said that growing into her Guyanese identity was both unique and gradual.

“There’s a bigger toleration and understanding of [Guyanese people] and the bigger world at NYU,” Singh said. “Being a part of the Caribbean Student Association (CSA) also really helped me. I definitely still think there is a need for more Guyanese representation, specifically in STEM.”

Singh said that her Guyanese identity and experiences have prepared her for a career in medicine.

“My family history will provide me with strength as a doctor with just being able to deal with a more diverse range of patients,” Singh said. “Having that empathy and having that perspective as a brown woman with this family history will help me with my work.”

Singh will begin her junior year in the fall, aiming to complete her Bachelor's Degree and attend medical school. Singh said that Guyanese women and women of color in STEM should carry themselves confidently and empathetically in their respective fields. 

“Speak your truth and stand your ground,” Singh said. “It is necessary to be able to advocate for yourself. Advocating for yourself will help you in any field you decide to enter.”

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