After seeing injured sea turtles during a third-grade field trip, then-8-year-old Casey Sokolovic embarked on a mission to help them, starting Love A Sea Turtle (LAST). A PADI Discover Scuba Diving class in Barbados when she was 10 led Casey to an even deeper commitment to marine conservation.
Now 14, Casey is single-minded in her determination to preserve the world’s sea turtle population, and inspire children and young people — especially at-risk youths — to get involved in marine conservation and diving. The energetic teen has also discovered the power of networking. LAST recently created the “Outdoor Experience Center” at A Time for Science, a 400-acre nature conservancy and home of the Upstream Downstream Connection Camps. After receiving a Paddle Nation/Outdoor Foundation grant, Casey purchased kayaks from her local dive shop for the campers to use.
“I hope to get at-risk youths outdoors and engage them with things they might not ordinarily get to do, like snorkeling, scuba, and environmental education and awareness,” says Casey.
Casey Sokolovic: Why I Dive
» Age When Certified: 12
» Level of Certification: Junior Open Water
» Hometown/School: Winterville, North Carolina; DH Conley High School
» Favorite Dive Destination: Any site off North Carolina — it has some of the best and most diverse diving in the world. my first love will always be Barbados because it was the place I tried a discover scuba diving course.
» Funniest Thing That Happened to Me Underwater: Watching little fish peck at my face mask, and also play hide-and-seek with me around structures.
» Most Memorable Dive: Getting my mother to try scuba. She overcame her fears and tried it. I was very proud of her.
Casey was also featured as Scuba Diving Magazine's Sea Hero for May 2012. Read more about Casey's conservation efforts.