I am not sure where to begin! There are so many exciting and God ordained events happening in the SEAKERS organization. Over the past 6 months, the SEAKERS Board of Directors and Officers have been hard at work conducting outreach to the community and building partnerships with several organizations both at the local level and in the larger scuba industry.
We continue to do outreach to several demographics in our community to include folks with disabilities (adaptive divers), public servants, families, and at-risk youth. At-risk youth has become our primary focus this year and will probably continue to be our highest priority for the foreseeable future. We have partnered with the Performance Learning Center (PLC), a Cabarrus County high school for at-risk youth, and provided scholarships to several of their students. Initially, the idea was to simply lift them up and give them hope by spending time with them and teaching them to dive. But, over time, it has turned into much more than that! After initial scuba certification, we are giving them advanced training to include professional level classes that can lead to employment in several industries: scuba, public service such as fire departments, science, and commercial diving just to name a few. Watch the video below to hear from one of the PLC students how we are making a difference in his life.
To continue to support outreach programs such as these, we are forming meaningful and sustainable partnerships both at the local and scuba industry levels-
Local effort –
Crossroads United Methodist Church – This is where it all started, as a small group in the church! Now we are a 501 (c) (3), nonprofit organization. Crossroads also provides material support, classrooms, and most importantly, prayers!
Open Water Adventures (OWA) – OWA is a local dive shop that supplies air fills, gear (such as mask, fins and snorkel), and a place for our at-risk youth to intern. The internship will teach retail and advanced gear maintenance. OWA is also a great scuba shop with awesome employees that have been with us since the beginning.
West Cabarrus YMCA – Provides pool time for all our outreach programs.
YOU – Many of you are helping and engaging in your community through SEAKERS, and these great things would not be possible without your efforts! I can tell you many stories of SEAKERS touching lives through the awesome sport of scuba diving.
Scuba Industry Effort –
NAUI (National Association of Underwater Instructors) – SEAKERS is now a NAUI affiliate, but our partnership goes much deeper than that. NAUI is providing material support and training that is unprecedented in the industry. NAUI is the oldest scuba training agency in the U.S., and is recognized and respected world-wide.
PSI/PCI (Professional Scuba Inspectors) – PSI is providing material support for professional level training thate includes safety, maintenance and repair of scuba related equipment. PSI is the only organization of its kind in the scuba industry and is recognized and respected world-wide in the field of cylinder safety.
Scuba Tools – Scuba Tools manufactures tools for scuba equipment repair, and is providing tools, at cost, for our students to learn equipment maintenance.
The great thing about these partnerships is our at-risk youth program and other outreach is now sustainable for the foreseeable future. The organizations listed above are in this for the long haul! And, all of this is happening here in your community!
Once again, I want to thank all of you for your active engagement in the lives of others, and I want to thank all our partners for their participation in our programs.