Sea Scope promotes children’s mental health through water skills

Dr. Allyson Fisher has witnessed amazing transformations: watching children undergo training to become full-fledged scuba divers.

They acquire skills through SeaScope Inc., a non-profit organization she founded to increase diversity in science and aquatics, instill a sense of environmental stewardship, and leverage water-related skills for mental well-being. It serves underrepresented and at-risk children from partner organizations.

“To see their faces light up or the joy that comes from them when they’re in the water, I mean, it’s priceless,” Fisher said.

Derrell Johnson, 14, who competes in Sea Scope, earned his Junior Open Water Scuba Diver certification.

The experience of his students is similar to his. Fisher grew up in the city’s northwest, fell in love with science and felt especially welcome in programs for underrepresented students. She graduated from Indiana University and became an optometrist.

While working remotely during the pandemic, Fisher traveled and completed advanced scuba diving training in Barbados and the Dominican Republic. The anxiety she had felt for 16 years dissipated.

During his training, someone asked him: Why don’t you teach?

Fisher founded Sea Scope in 2021 and classes officially began in January this year. Its name houses the branches of its mission: the S in “Scope” stands for science, and the other letters follow with chemistry, optics and other physical, physiological and environmental sciences. The coping part refers to the mental health benefits of water.

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