Carl Jackson was a proud recipient of the 2012 Cayman Islands Tourism Association’s Rising Star award.
“It shows what dedication and hard work can do,” said Mr. Jackson, who is employed by Divetech. “The atmosphere was very exciting but tense at the same time on the night of the awards.”
He said that his job involves everything from manning the shop to teaching, working with the tanks and being on the dive boats with the guests.
“I have been a qualified dive instructor for a year but have worked with Divetech since 2006. I did two years here through John Gray’s work experience programme, then did summers and holidays.
“After I graduated, I worked here until September 2008 then left and came back in April 2009. I became a divemaster in 2010 and an instructor in 2011,” he said.
One of the attractions for him initially was being surrounded by water.
“It is astonishing and always intrigued me when I saw scuba divers on the TV,” he said. “I thought, someday I might try that.” Mr. Jackson hails from West Bay and the 22 year old said that sometimes Caymanians do not see the hospitality or dive industries as potential careers.
“It is almost like a grey area; for a lot of Caymanians, when you are in school everyone is thinking about banking and government jobs. You are not really thinking about tourism and water sports.
“But this island has run off tourism all its life; don’t let that area slip away. We have a beautiful island and amazing things that the ocean offers to us,” he said. “I would definitely try and have some involvement in tourism or the watersports industry.” For Mr. Jackson, though, there is a long-term plan within the dive industry.
“Hopefully, some day I would definitely like to own my own company with another Caymanian partner,” he revealed.