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Welcome to the Marine Education Program blog! Visit this site for information about our efforts to incorporate boating, scuba diving and marine related fields into our unique combination of education, behavior modification, and treatment to help at-risk youth discover their full potential and guiding them on their paths to a positive future.

Volunteers Wanted

by Jorge Mahauad | Feb 04, 2019
AMIkids is looking for volunteer SCUBA Professionals interested in supporting our 2019 presidential dive challenge in the Florida Keys.

We need help at the John Pennekamp State Park, Key Largo, FL. dates of travel are July 15 - July 19, 2019.

If you are a certified, current and insured experienced SCUBA Professional who is passionate and philanthropic about giving the gift of diving to at-risk youth, you will be excited to spend the week before mini lobster season in Key Largo with us!

AMIkids will cover accommodation and transportation expenses. For more information please contact  Jorge Mahauad at 239.851.6790.


2018 Dive Challenge

About the Event:

The annual AMIkids Presidential Dive introduces youth to the underwater world and allows students who have earned the opportunity to participate a chance to explore different animals, habitats and most importantly become open water certified by the completion of the week-long event.

Every year more than 50 youth and 40 staff spend three days becoming more familiar with the Key Largo region and the pristine waters that are home to species of all shapes and sizes along with exotic plant life. Students were able to apply everything they learn in the classroom over months of preparation and good behavior and begin to truly understand how the deep blue environment functions. 

The presidential dive trip also provides time for youth and staff from multiple programs a chance to interact with one another developing lifelong friendships. Through these newly formed friendships, students and staff were able to assist one another in different diving exercises and begin to understand that nothing could stop them as long as they applied themselves and encouraged one another to reach their full potential. 

The trip closes with an awards ceremony and dinner for the youth presenting them with their diving certifications and complimenting them on their hard work throughout the week. 

What we do:

Marine Education has been at the core of AMIkids programming from the beginning. The organization started as a conglomerate of “Associated Marine Institutes (AMI)” and focused heavily on marine, experiential and vocational education.

This unique combination of education, behavior modification, and treatment in a family atmosphere with caring staff has been extremely successful and we continue to use it today for a number of reasons:

- Kids who participate in experiential learning form a stronger bond with their teachers, therapists, and other staff. Those bonds help us to serve them better. 
- Marine education opportunities are used as incentives for youth who are working toward academic and behavioral goals. This motivates them to focus on achieving those goals, and sets an example for their peers.
- Marine education also allows a shared anchoring point in unfamiliar environments. By offering the opportunity for a mutual start and leveling the playing field, we achieve real world contexts and develop life skills. 
- Marine education is also an opportunity for vocational discovery. The ability to connect ideas through hands on allows students to follow unique interests and explore potential lifelong career goals. 

About AMikids:

AMIkids helps at risk-youth and juvenile offenders through a multitude avenues. With 44 programs in 9 states, 136,000 youth and nearly 50 years in operation the organization provides programming in multiple models including marine education, alternative schools, family centered therapy, residential facilities, vocational training and job placements.