Diving into Diversity: Sarah Yerrace and the Impact of NAUI’s Diversity Scholarship

At NAUI Worldwide, we are committed to fostering an inclusive environment where the wonders of the underwater world are accessible to all. The NAUI Diversity Scholarship is a cornerstone of this commitment, aiming to reduce barriers and cultivate a diverse community of divers. Today, we shine a spotlight on Sarah Yerrace, a divemaster and the inaugural recipient of the NAUI Diversity Scholarship, whose story underscores the importance and positive impact of this initiative.



A Deep Dive with Sarah Yerrace: Bridging the Gap

Sarah’s journey into the depths began with a family influence, her older brother’s diving adventures, and her determined spirit to keep pace with her siblings. Her diving experience, which spans over 11 years, is a testament to her passion and resilience. As she worked her way up to divemaster and now sets her sights on becoming an instructor, Sarah exemplifies the very essence of growth and perseverance that NAUI stands for.


Sarah’s academic pursuits at the University of Washington in aquatic sciences complement her diving career, intertwining her love for underwater exploration with scholarly inquiry. This teamwork of scientists and divers is a huge part of protecting our oceans and its creatures.


Inclusivity Beneath the Waves

Sarah’s passion extends beyond personal achievements. She advocates for inclusivity in diving, recognizing the financial and logistical hurdles that many face. Her mission is to lower these barriers, ensuring that diving is not a privilege of the few but a sport for the many. Her work with veterans, using scuba diving as recreational therapy, demonstrates the healing and unifying power of the underwater world.

When Sarah applied for the NAUI Diversity Scholarship at the end of 2022, she embarked on a new chapter that would see her advocacy efforts supported and amplified. The scholarship, aimed at promoting diversity in the diving industry, provided not just the means for certification but also the support for travel expenses, a significant consideration given the costly nature of diving.


Looking to the Horizon: Sarah’s Future Goals

With eyes on the future, Sarah aspires to lead her own dive program and serve as a Dive Safety Officer. Her past work in the zoo and aquarium industry, coupled with her academic and diving credentials, has equipped her with a unique skill set. She envisions a career where she can meld her passions, diving with public education, outreach, and research, reflecting a holistic approach to her life’s work.


A Ripple Effect: The Larger Impact

Sarah Yerrace’s story is more than just one of individual achievement; it is a narrative that inspires change. By supporting her through the NAUI Diversity Scholarship, we are not only investing in one diver’s dream but also work towards a future where the underwater realm is an inclusive space that enriches and heals. It’s a vision of a community where diversity is celebrated, and barriers are continuously dismantled.

As Sarah prepares to graduate and take on the professional world, her trailblazing efforts remind us of the power of community support and the importance of diversity in enriching the fabric of the diving industry. Through the NAUI Diversity Scholarship, we remain dedicated to empowering passionate individuals like Sarah, fostering a love for diving that transcends all boundaries.

Stay submerged in our journey towards inclusivity and follow the stories of other divers like Sarah who are making waves in the industry. For more information on the NAUI Diversity Scholarship and how you can support or apply, visit https://www.naui.org/about/naui-diversity-scholarship/. You can also follow Sarah’s journey on Instagram and get a much deeper look into what she is accomplishing daily. Together, let’s dive into diversity and swim toward a world of boundless exploration and unity beneath the waves.