Miami Gardens, FL – Less than fifty miles from the City of Miami Gardens sits one of the nation’s premier underwater diving locations, Biscayne National Park. In a multi-agency and cross-state partnership, Miami Gardens youth will have the opportunity to explore scuba diving and related career fields during a hands-on presentation and in-pool demonstration by Youth Diving With a Purpose, (YDWP) Thursday, July 11th, 2013 at the Betty T. Ferguson Recreational Complex, 3000 NW 199th St., Miami Gardens, FL 33056 from 1:00 – 4:00 p.m. The Tennessee-based organization is designed to challenge and empower youth (ages 15 to 23) to pursue scuba diving skills which create limitless educational, travel and maritime career paths as well as foster more mature youth involved in environmental stewardship.
Led by dive instructor Kenneth Stewart, teen divers from Youth Diving With a Purpose will conduct volunteer dive excursions in Biscayne National Park the week of July 7th, 2013. Extending their commitment to environmental education and exposing more youth of color to the world of diving, YDWP will join the City of Miami Gardens Parks and Recreation Department, Miami-Dade Fire Rescue and members of the National Parks Conservation Association to conduct intimate demonstrations of dive equipment and technique with Miami Gardens youth in an effort to motivate, encourage and inspire the next generation of youth of color to pursue dive skills and water-related career opportunities.
“Often-time youth of color are not exposed to these activity choices or career possibilities and that’s one reason I created Youth Diving With a Purpose,” explains Stewart. “I wanted to create an organization of African-American divers who would travel, learn and explore together. If I knew years ago that you could make a living doing this, my life would have been totally different today.”
City of Miami Gardens youth taking part in this unique demonstration will hear from expert leaders in the dive field, including dive master, Kamau B. A. Sadiki, Vice President of the National Association of Black Scuba Divers and an Underwater Archeology Advocate, Miami-Dade Fire Rescue Dive Master Lt. Marcend Coney, and Dive Master Jay Haigler, a National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Scientific Diver; one of only 586 divers worldwide to hold the distinction. A film documentary crew working with Youth Diving With a Purpose and a Miami-Dade Fire Rescue videographer will also be on scene capturing all of the day’s events.
The three-hour hands-on scuba diving demonstration is expected to be the first in a series of new partnerships between City of Miami Gardens Parks and Recreation and Miami-Dade Fire Rescue in efforts to expose more youth of color to water-related recreational activities and career opportunities.
For more information on the Youth Diving With a Purpose program partnering with City of Miami Gardens, contact Julia Yarbough, Media Relations Specialist at firstname.lastname@example.org or (305) 622-2480.