Optical Prime Jr

Who is half Helen?

Becoming “half Helen”

Chelsea Elliott’s journey began with a failed vision screening that revealed blindness in her left eye due to a rare condition called Coats’ disease. Two years later, another setback occurred as a hearing screening revealed hearing loss in her right ear. Half blind and half deaf but brimming with determination, Chelsea affectionately embraced the moniker “half Helen” in honor of her hero, Helen Keller.

Creating a Solution

After learning about a revolutionary tool called the Spot Vision Screener, which can identify vision impairments in children within seconds, Chelsea founded the half Helen Foundation and set out to create a plan to provide preventive vision and hearing screenings, ensuring early detection and intervention for children. Chelsea’s efforts led to legislative change, allowing schools to use photoscreening technology for all ages. Her advocacy work culminated in the passing of HB 3157, expanding access to preventive screenings. Since its inception, the half Helen Foundation has screened over 68,000 children, helping them receive timely eye exams and corrective wear.In 2020, half Helen took the next step by launching a popup clinic capable of providing vision care services in schools. This laid the groundwork for the subsequent launch of optical Prime, a fully mobile clinic housed in a compact, yet impactful vehicle. This tiny house on wheels travels across the greater Austin area providing quality vision care to the communities that need it most. Additionally, 2023 marked a milestone of achievement for half Helen, as they celebrated a decade of community care. This occasion saw the introduction of a second mobile clinic, increasing half Helen’s ability to provide even more essential resources to underserved communities.


Meet the half Helen team!

Chelsea Elliott

Founder and Executive Director

Carissa Stengel

Special Projects Manager

Lucero Romero

Ophthalmic Technician & Photographer

Jasmin Hamdan

Mobile Clinic Manager

Frannie Fagotti

Patient Care Coordinator

Claudia Rodriguez

Patient Support Specialist

Our Doctors

Jean Mengoli, OD

Clinic Doctor

Mutahir Ahmad, OD

Clinic Doctor

Our Values


Everyone, regardless of background or circumstance, has inherent value and deserves to be treated with significance and respect.


We utilize advanced technology, licensed optometrists, and certified staff to provide high quality, personalized eye care for ALL patients.


Creative solutions transform problems into opportunities. We innovate to maximize our resources and provide the best possible eye care experience.


Clear eyesight should be a basic human right. half Helen has the passion and commitment to eradicate vision impairment.

Our Supporters

Austin Community Foundation

ECG Foundation

HCB Health

The Harry E. and Eda L. Montandon Charitable Trust

Impact Austin

John King Construction

Kendra Scott

Lola Wright Foundation

Michael and Susan Dell Foundation

Moody Foundation

St. David’s Foundation