Jacques Keeps Eyes on the Prize; Opens Optometry Practice
Wednesday, December 1, 2021
For some, it takes a while to see their path clearly. For others, helping people see clearly is their path. And for Peter Jacques, OD, it’s both.
Before he was a doctor of optometry, Jacques was a student at St. Louis Community College. This month he’ll celebrate a major accomplishment – the opening of his own practice, Rockwood Eyecare. Located in Wildwood, just minutes from his hometown of Chesterfield, Mo., this achievement is one he’s been eyeing for years.
Like many of his peers, Jacques graduated from high school unsure of what he wanted to do. Initially, he enrolled in a theater program at Independence Community College.
“For me, community college was an easy choice,” he said. “I didn't have a lot of financial support when I began my higher education journey, so it made the most sense.”
After earning a few general education credits, Jacques decided to pursue a different path. So, he moved home and enrolled in an associate degree program in chemistry and chemical technology at STLCC-Florissant Valley.
“The small class sizes and emphasis on real-world skills were a big draw for me,” he said. “It was also a bargain to be able to graduate with an associate degree and know that the credits I earned were going to transfer to a four-year university.”
After STLCC, Jacques completed a bachelor’s degree in chemistry at Lindenwood University. To help fund this degree, he worked at a pharmaceutical company. Jacques said that experience influenced his decision to continue his education and pursue a career in optometry. He earned his doctor of optometry degree from the University of Missouri-St. Louis.
“I love chemistry, but I felt isolated working in the lab,” he said. “I chose to shadow doctors before applying to optometry school, and was amazed at how many health conditions could be identified and treated through simple eye exams. For me, optometry is a great fit because it allows me to blend my passion for science with my desire to help others.”
And with his grand opening just weeks away, Jacques is ready to do just that.
“At Rockwood Eyecare, we focus on the highest quality eyewear and service to our community,” he said. “You can rest assured that when you visit our practice, your exam will be thorough and the technology that we will use will allow us to manage your eye problems. We also pride ourselves on the latest styles of eyewear and price points for every budget.”
While his path to this profession hasn’t been linear, his faith has guided him.
“There are many paths to the same destination. I started in theatre and became an optometrist, so don't think that just because you start down one road you won't end up down another,” Jacques said. “One of the hardest things in life is to embrace uncertainty. You have to have faith that it will all work out,” he said.
Jacques notes another factor that has contributed to his success – the connections he’s made along the way.
“Meeting people and networking is a valuable skill to learn. Most people are happy to talk to you about their career, so I encourage you to reach out,” he said. “I welcome any students interested in the field of optometry to reach out as I’d be happy to pay forward all the great mentorship that was offered to me!”