Building confidence through diving.

Ben’s scuba diving adventure began, unexpectedly, at just 10 years old. His mom had purchased a Diventures trip for two to Dunbar Rock, at a local charity fundraising event. However, no one in the family was a certified diver. Ben’s parents signed up for our open water diver class, but Ben ended up taking his mom’s spot. Little did Ben, or his parents, know at the time, that diving would change his entire outlook on life! “It was a great experience and it’s changed my life. I’m more positive, have a lot more self-confidence, and if I’m ever angry about something, I’ll think about scuba diving and it just relaxes me, I can’t ever stay mad.” – Ben Militsakh

Ben completed his pool and classroom sessions with Erika Roberts. “Ben was super excited but also really nervous at first. He took the class very seriously and was really curious to know the “why” behind everything. He had completed all his online homework and came to every class with tons of inquisitive questions. Ben was an amazing student!” – Erika Roberts, Divemaster Instructor

Ben and his dad completed their Open Water Diver certification on their trip to Dunbar Rock, off the coast of Honduras. Not only was this Ben’s first dive trip, but his first trip out of the country and he was the only kid in the group of 18 divers. However, that didn’t stop him from keeping up with everybody! After a week in Dunbar, Ben had a whole new outlook on diving, the ocean, and his everyday life.

“My favorite thing about diving is how relaxing it is. You can be worried about anything and just jump in and it’s gone. When I was diving in Dunbar, I got to see a nurse shark named JackJack. He’s a well-known shark in Dunbar. Before I learned to dive, I was horrified of sharks, but now after diving and seeing one, I’m not scared, and actually really love them!”

Ben and his father, Oleg, continued their scuba adventures after Dunbar Rock and enjoyed their second dive trip earlier this year on a Diventures trip to Cozumel.

“In Cozumel, I could barely keep up with Ben! He was so excited and was exploring all over. There were octopuses, eels, and all of this incredible stuff to see. Once we handed Ben a camera, he was like a kid in a candy shop, going under all the crevices and finding all the neat micro creatures. His whole demeanor has changed since learning to dive, he used to be kind of shy and anxious and now watching him progress and become more confident in everything he does, it’s great!” – Oleg Militsakh

After just two trips, Ben and his dad were all in! Ben’s experience has created a strong passion in him for diving that he will continue to build on throughout his life. In less than six months, he’s already completed specialty classes such as Shark Ecology, Marine Ecology, Science of Diving (scoring a 96 on the exam!), Perfect Buoyancy, Night, and Limited Visibility, and Nitrox.

“I met Ben and his dad through my specialty classes. As a teacher, I was so impressed by Ben’s curiosity and interest in Science of Diving. He was genuinely interested in learning it all and wanting to continue his diving education. He excelled in a class that is difficult for most people, which showed me that he was willing and ready for a challenge. This will serve him later in life and set him up to try more difficult things that he might not have before.” – Pat Purkhiser, Instructor Trainer

Ben had just started middle school when he jumped into diving but he was ready to take on the challenge of learning and understanding diving concepts, scientific theories, and math equations that a lot of people will never master, let alone kids his age.

“I’m proud of myself for learning and taking that big step. I wasn’t very courageous before and I took a giant stride when I started scuba diving. Diving has helped me build a lot of confidence in myself and I now know that I can do things I never wanted to do before and I’m not scared to overcome difficult obstacles.”

He’s not stopping there though, Ben plans on taking more specialty classes and trips in the near future.