Detroit native becomes first African-American to be awarded diver scholarship


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Dorian Banks, a 27-year-old Detroit native, is the first African-American to be awarded the Future of Diving Scholarship.

Dive Mentor, an international nonprofit education organization that seeks to protect marine wildlife and fragile marine habitats, selects one individual each year to attend its four-month marine conservation professional diver program at its Caribbean research site. The organization selected Banks from among hundreds of applicants around the world who applied for the scholarship.

“Our entire program is specifically designed to strengthen the students’ understanding of the ocean and everything in it, while allowing them to earn valuable internationally recognized certifications and documented community service hours,” says James L. Clark, an instructor trainer and the director of education for Dive Mentor.
Banks attended Marygrove College and earned his open water scuba certification in 2018. As a student dedicated to the protection of marine wildlife and fragile ecosystems, Banks will earn his professional diver credentials during his training, as well as certifications in coral conversation, turtle ecology, shark ecology, marine ecology, and emergency medicine.

Clark says divers make some of the best ambassadors for the ocean, as they help to change perspectives and allow people to see the effects of pollution, coral bleaching, and single-use plastic.

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