Six teens had their first dive at Lobster Pot Dive Center Thursday as part of a new at-risk youth program at John Gray High School.
Launched by school inclusion officer Philip Parker, the program is aimed towards helping teens overcome behavioral issues by participating in activities which promote self esteem.
“At John Gray High School and Cornerstones, we are looking to provide a curriculum that best suits the needs of our students and will engage them in their learning. Offering these experiences broadens the diversity of education we offer,” said Mr. Parker, who is tasked with keeping youngsters in school wherever possible.
“The idea of the enrichment activities is to allow the students to learn about their environment in a practical way,” he added. “It can also give the students a real sense of achievement and success.”
Some of the students in the program had never even been snorkeling before the dive, Mr. Parker said.
“The students had a fantastic time experiencing diving for the first time. They were all looking forward to the trip and have spoken of how much they enjoyed the experience since. The students interacted well with the instructors, who were amazing and contributed to everyone enjoying themselves so much,” said Mr. Parker.
Lobster Pot Dive Center staff facilitated the “introduction to scuba diving course” for the six teens, who took to the water together with Mr. Parker and two local dive instructors.
Mr. Parker believes the experience was helpful to the students. “It allows them to socialize in the community and experience what this wonderful island has to offer. New experiences are the key to the social development of any person.”
More confidence-boosting activities are planned for at-risk students in the future.
“We see this as an opportunity to explore different aspects of the island and give the students different experiences,” said Mr. Parker.