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First recipient of the Richard A. Hartley Scholarship Announced

(DiverWire) Sea Experience Dive Center in Ft. Lauderdale has announced the first winner of the Richard A. Hartley Memorial Scholarship is Erin Austria from Chicago, Illinois.

Erin is a certified teacher, wife, mother of two and PADI Divemaster. She currently is the director of a pre-school, who in her spare time volunteers at the Shedd Aquarium and has helped with annual harbor and beach cleanups. Erin has always wanted to use scuba diving as a way to communicate and help children with special needs and has been committed to working very closely with Autistic children. Another of her goals is to bring more women into diving with a program called “Girls Dive In”. To quote Erin, “the goals of this program are to encourage positive social, emotional, mental, spiritual and physical development by building confidence through scuba diving”.

Erin also has a very good sense of humor evidenced by the picture submitted by her as part of her application process.

Sea Experience is a PADI Career Development Center in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. The store created the Richard A. Hartley scholarship in honor of Hartley who passed away last year.