Tampa, Fla., (November 1, 2016) – The National Association of Underwater Instructors (NAUI Worldwide) continues to increase the audience attracted to the sport of diving. To further support this effort, the NAUI Board of Directors (BOD) approved a motion by Board Member Lonnie Sharp (NAUI 18314) to provide a grant through the Women Divers Hall of Fame (WDHOF) for a female candidate seeking to become a dive leader.
The grant may be used to fund any of the leadership courses that NAUI offers, including Divemaster, Assistant Instructor or Instructor, with the aim of inspiring women to make careers in diving.
“NAUI’s focus has been on ways to increase diversity to better reflect the population of the country at large and to cast a wider net,” said NAUI Board Member Michael Feld (NAUI 50134). “There was agreement that our diversity strategy must also include finding ways of attracting more women to participate through marketing and other means.”
The WDHOF, an international non-profit and professional honor society of female divers, was the chosen organization to assist with achieving this goal. Part of the WDHOF’s mission states: “Support the underwater world and its associated careers by promoting opportunities for women and men in diving through scholarships, internships, and mentorship opportunities.” The mission also reflects NAUI’s core values of excellence in diving by recognizing the contributions of outstanding women divers.
At least 35 WDHOF members have been affiliated with NAUI in some manner. Most recently, NAUI Lifetime Member, Course Director and Hawaii Regional Sales Manager, Heather Choat Armstrong (#16952), was selected as a member of the 2017 class. Additionally, former NAUI members Susan Speck (#Z0008146) and Laura Rogers-Bennett (#D0007409) were also included in the 2017 class.
The monetary value of the grant approved by the NAUI BOD was $1,000. NAUI Services Group Executive Director Dallas Edmiston (NAUI 4099) volunteered to offer supporting learning materials to supplement the monetary component, making the total value of the grant worth up to $2,000. The grant money may be used at any NAUI business that the candidate selects to provide the training path she determines is most suitable for her.
“We look forward to meeting the candidates who take advantage of this grant and taking the first steps in a determined strategy toward diversity within NAUI and the industry at large,” said Feld.