DeeperBlue.com had the opportunity to speak with several members of the Women Divers Hall of Fame during this year’s DEMA Show in Orlando, Florida.
WDHOF President Robin Parish, Trustee and Scholarship Committee member Susan Bangasser and fine art underwater photographer and WDHOF member Erin O’Neill were kind enough to chat for a few minutes with us.
Recognized for their commitment to “Paying it Forward,” WDHOF has provided over US$500,000 (~€501,950) in individual grants to 470+ recipients. Globally, they make available Annual Scholarships and Training Grants in support of bringing more divers into the industry. With diving being an expensive sport, these grants also include up to $500/~€502 in equipment coverage.
Strongly encouraging and supporting diversity, WDHOF has members throughout the world including the US, Canada and 22 additional countries.
An incredible example of this outreach involves five women from Mexico who applied for entry-level training grants. They desperately wanted to get their families and village away from drugs and crime and instead focused on fishing. After all five were approved and trained, they succeeded in changing the path of their entire community.
The WDHOF Mentor program provides career focused panels with topics such as marine biology, conservation, photography, tech diving, diving physiology, diving medicine and maritime archeology.
The Panel Members are also willing to follow up with participants one-on-one and will put together resources to help them with the next steps in furthering their career.
For more information or to support the Women Divers Hall of Fame (men can be associate members) go to www.wdhof.org.
— by Jennifer Morgan