Kudos to Gypsy Divers in Raleigh NC!!!
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Posted 02 January 2007 - 06:12 PM
I have posted this in a couple of other forums, but such a good deed needs to be spread far and wide!!
I have to tell you all about a great thing Gypsy Divers in Raleigh did for me.
First of all, I am a police officer and I have been mentoring two kids from Chapel Hill. Their father is a crack addict and as a result, his criminal record is as thick as Gone With the Wind.
I have made it my job to show these two kids (twins) that there is more to life than standing on the corner. I have taken them to museums, movies, etc. I thought it would be fun for them to experience one of my passions. No, not shooting (it may haunt me if they make the wrong choices someday), but diving.
I talked to Al while we were at DEMA. I explained the situation to him. Gypsy does a "try scuba" free at the store. That heated indoor pool sure comes in handy. I know that this is geared more toward people who may decide to learn scuba and have the means to do so. That is probably not the case here, and I knew it.
To make a long story short, Al said that he would make it happen. This last Saturday was the day. These kids (13 years old) could hardly believe it when I took them there. My sister is a NAUI instructor and was going to work with one and me the other. However, I had my camera and wanted to take lotsa pictures of the fun. One of the store's employees is an African American and he offered to help in the pool. That was just perfect as it was nice to have such a wonderful role model for them. His calm patient manner was perfect.
Terry, YOU ARE THE BEST!!! It made a huge difference for them to know that there are no racial barriers to becoming a scuba diver/instructor.
The kids were great and became comfortable with the gear and techniques quickly. One humorous exception is that one of the kids tried to "sag" his weight belt. As it kept sliding off his butt, he decided that it was the wrong fashion statement here.
It was a great day and a great experience for them. Who knows what the long lasting results of the day may be. One never knows what might be the deciding factor in helping a person break out of their local environment. This store may be instrumental in changing these kid's life. You never know....