To commemorate its 50th anniversary and recognize the important contributions of divers over the past half-century, PADI is releasing a series of short documentary videos entitled My PADI. My Ocean. My Hope.TM The series brings together stories of the human experience in which diving is the foundation for transformation, human connection and purpose.
My PADI. My Ocean. My Hope features a handful of passionate divers and PADI Professionals focused on educating others about environmental, social and humanitarian issues. Here’s a look at three:
- Leo Morales – In 2008, Morales was diagnosed with aggressive cancer in his right leg, which led to its amputation. After a friend’s recommendation, Morales turned to scuba diving as a way to heal and gain a new outlook on life, and has since set two world records. Now a PADI Open Water Scuba Instructor and motivational speaker, Morales hopes that others can be inspired to what is possible. “Under the water you don’t have any limitations,” Morales says. “You don’t have any disability. You are able to fly.”
- Andre Miller – Having first worked in a dive shop and then in a marine lab, Andre Miller naturally gravitated toward a career as a marine biologist and PADI Instructor. He was integral in establishing a marine sanctuary in Carlisle Bay, Barbados, and today teaches youth about marine life and diving. “My ocean is my life. My ocean is also your ocean. We need it to survive and we need more people in the water. The more people we get certified as divers and free divers the easier it is to protect what we have,” Miller says.
- Jennifer Idol – After witnessing the Gulf of Mexico in flames after the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in 2010, Idol set out on a mission to dive all 50 states, inspired by a goal to help others to love and protect our waters by revealing their true beauty. “I could have never foreseen that I would eventually take the giant leap to make diving a full-time career,” Idol says. “As a PADI instructor and underwater photographer, I want to help others love diving, become good divers, and love the underwater world so that we may all enjoy it for generations to come.”
“We at PADI are thankful for our Members and the millions of divers who have helped to make this 50th anniversary possible,” said Drew Richardson, president and CEO of PADI Worldwide. “It’s an honor to play a role in the transformational journey diving offers to anyone willing to embrace it. Which is why, as we mark this milestone anniversary, the PADI organization is celebrating the people scuba diving has touched in significant and profound ways. We’re recognizing and applauding their actions, which in turn infuses others with the optimism, courage, determination and inspiration to live a better life and make the world a better place.”
The PADI organization invites you to seek out stories from your divers, friends and communities. Encourage them to share what My PADI. My Ocean. My Hope means to them and how diving has transformed their lives.
Watch the stories, learn how you can share yours and spark conversation at mypadi.padi.com.