Introduction to Diveheart
Aug 23, 2017
Tinamarie Hernandez, Executive Director, Diveheart
Introduction to Diveheart

This program is an introduction to Diveheart, a non-profit organization that provides and supports educational SCUBA diving, surface supplies gas (SSG), snorkeling and related experience programs which are open to any child, adult and veteran with a disability. Diveheart works to provide both physical and psychological therapeutic value to each person we serve, while building confidence, independence and self-esteem … enriching quality of life and the human spirit.

Diveheart, a non-profit 510 (c) 3 organization, was founded in 2001.  The vision was to build confidence, independence and self esteem in children, adults and veterans with disabilities through scuba diving.

Thanks to the wonder of the water column, the oceans and lakes of the world become the forgiving weightless environment of inner space. This offers perfect buoyancy and balance to any individual who might struggle on land in the hope of providing physical and psychological therapeutic value. It is a can-do spirit that Diveheart seeks to instill in our participants.  Since its inception Diveheart has trained thousands of volunteers in order to be able to carry on our mission throughout the world. 

Diveheart has worked with individuals across the U.S. and in Mexico, Israel, Australia, China, the Caribbean and more.  Diveheart’s dream is to have a site where we can serve children, adults and veterans with disabilities through scuba therapy, and where we can address research, rehabilitation, education, and vocational training.  Furthermore, we envision that our facility will allow us to train individuals from around the world to scuba dive with individuals with disabilities.  These divers can in turn, return to their homes and train even more people.  The potential impact on the lives of individuals with disabilities around the world is enormous.

Diveheart was founded by Jim Elliott, who left a successful media career to found Diveheart in 2001. As president, he does not draw a salary and as an instructor trainer he has helped facilitate adaptive scuba programs around the world. He is co-author of the Diveheart Adaptive Scuba Training program and is a leader on forwarding Scuba Therapy research around the world. As a Rotarian, he lives by the motto of “Service Above Self” and works with Rotarians and other service organizations worldwide to grow adaptive scuba programs that serve children, adults and veterans with disabilities in the communities where they live.

Tinamarie Hernandez, Executive Director of Diveheart, began her assignment as Diveheart executive director in February of 2013. She is deeply committed to Diveheart’s mission and vision and has already implemented many changes that have allowed Diveheart to grow. She is specifically skilled in working to build alliances and partnerships with mission and results driven outcomes. When asked what drew her to Diveheart, Tinamarie responded: “I grew up with a cousin who lived his life with both physical and conative challenges. Joey didn’t let much hold him back and I just know he would have loved scuba, had he known about Diveheart. I work to make sure others with disabilities will not miss out on the wonderful experience and benefits that scuba and Diveheart can bring them.” Before joining Diveheart, Tinamarie worked for Accenture for 18 years. Her specialty was in continuous improvement and project/program management. Tinamarie earned BAs in English and Political Science from Northern Illinois University and completed MA course work in International Relations, Diplomacy at the University of Denver.

Host: Marc Munder