SDI and Our World Underwater Scholarship Society Welcome Three New Instructors

SDI would like to welcome three new SDI Open Water Instructors; the three 2007 Our World Underwater Scholarship Society Rolex Scholars, Brenna Mahoney, of Bethesda MD, Igor Valente, of Mozambique, and Mat Kertesz, of Sydney, Australia.

The Our World Underwater Scholarship Society (OWUSS) was formed in Chicago in 1972 to offer diving scholarships to young people who show the potential to become leaders in the protection of the underwater world. One scholarship is offered in each of North America, Europe and Australasia. The three Scholars spend a year traveling and undergoing a range of experiences, including training and courses, volunteer work, meeting people and work experience, aimed at developing the Scholar’s skills, networking and leadership qualities.

SDI/TDI Instructor Trainer and noted Cave Diving and Rebreather pioneer Jeff Bozanic is a long time supporter of the Rolex Scholarships. This year he and fellow SDI IT Gordon Boivin, of Laguna Sea Sports, CA, guided the three Scholars through a grueling but enjoyable SDI Instructor Training Course in California in July.

It was an intense program of in water training, classroom sessions and very little sleep, but the Scholars survived and are now on their way to sharing their passion for diving with people who are brand new to the underwater world. The scholars also completed a TDI Evolution and Inspiration Closed Circuit Rebreather course with Jeff a week prior to the ITC.

Brenna Mahoney, the North American Scholar, said “I had an amazing time taking the CCR course with Jeff Bozanic. I was mentally and physically challenged but loved learning about the new gear, how to plan and execute a dive, and, of course diving on the Evolution. It was an immensely rewarding experience and Jeff was a terrific instructor.”

Mat, the Australasian Scholar, said “It was crazy, I don’t think I’ve ever been so exhausted, but it’s definitely one of the most rewarding things I’ve ever done. To hear Jeff say at the end, “You made it and you’re going to be a great instructor” was fantastic.”

"The scholars were motivated, bright, and talented divers. I am happy I had the opportunity to work with them and support the scholarship program by providing their SDI/TDI training” stated Jeff Bozanic.  "I believe that the scholarship program is one of the finest in the industry, and truly helps develop our next generation of diving leadership. Mat, Brenna and Igor are excellent ambassadors, and I am pleased that I have had the opportunity to help them with their development. I am sure they will provide great benefits to the diving community in the future."

The three Scholars are continuing with their whirlwind travels, but each are looking forward to teaching in the future and would like to extend their thanks to those who made it possible for them. Mat said “We’d really like to thank Jeff and Gordy for the wonderful instruction and to SDI for welcoming us into the fold.”

Further information about the OWUSS and the Rolex Scholarships is available at

For more information about SDI, please visit or call 207-729-4201.

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