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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.

2021 Presidential Dive Challenge Event

by Jorge Mahauad | Aug 04, 2021
Key Largo, FL

AMIkids recently hosted the annual Presidential Dive Challenge Event at John Pennekamp State Park in Key Largo. Nearly 100 youth, staff, and volunteers participated in the week-long event.

Youth from AMIkids Clay County, AMIkids Greater Ft. Lauderdale AMIkids Jacksonville, AMIkids Manatee, AMIkids Miami-Dade South, AMIkids Tallahassee, and AMIkids Tampa, AMIkids Beaufort, AMIkids Sand Hills, AMIkids White Pines, AMIkids Savannah River, and others including AMIkids Home Office Staff had the opportunity to learn and enjoy snorkeling, skin diving, and SCUBA diving throughout the Florida Reef Tract
AMIkids hosted a special guest, Representative Spencer Roach, who spent a day with the youth snorkeling and SCUBA diving amongst the beautiful coral reefs. The Presidential Dive Challenge will enter its 20th anniversary next year. Throughout the years, 'the dive trip' has provided hundreds of at-risk youth a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to experience the joys of underwater diving and up-close encounters with rare marine life.


The presidential dive trip also provides time for youth and staff from multiple programs to interact, 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 event closed 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.


Special thanks to the John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park management and dive center concession for accommodating our large group and multiple needs.

The Presidential Dive Challenge event is possible through the philanthropic support of individuals and corporations, including The Hartwell Foundation, The Barrows Family Charitable Fund, Jim and Martha O'Relly, Myers Family Charitable Trust, the donors of the AMIkids Yacht Donation Program, and small contributions from individuals wanting to support our mision.

To learn more about supportting our Marine Education Program and Challenge Events click here.