UNICEF Sport in Education Award
- Created: 11 December 2014
Ocean Academy was selected out of 350 applicants from more than 70 countries for UNICEF's Sport in Education Award from Beyond Sport.
Heidi Curry and Joni Miller traveled to Johannesburg, South Africa, to represent the Aquatic Tourism Program as a finalist among prestigious development organizations from around the world. Heidi describes her experience: "It was humbling to join a speaking panel with one of the other finalists in our category who represents an organization with 15 year's experience and 700 employees serving hundreds of thousands of young people in India . . . and then for little Ocean Academy to win! It took going across the globe to realize that we are doing truly unique work right here in Belize."
The award recognizes Ocean Academy's innovative approach to developing entrepreneurial and life skills through fly-fishing, scuba diving, and kayaking "physical education" classes. On weekends and holidays, students accompany visitors on kayak excursions and teach about the ecology and history of the island. They earn money for their families, their school fees, and the school. Ocean Academy develops workshops based on visitors' evaluation forms. Skills are transferrable to any future profession. Ocean Academy's Aquatic Tourism Program is sponsored by a grant from the U.S. State Department.