The Teen Research Underwater Explorers (TRUE Dive Team) is a 501(c)3, non-profit volunteer organization and was founded in 2010 to teach young men and women about the ocean, using hands-on underwater marine science. TRUE’s roots stretch back a number of years. TRUE was formerly known as the SCUBAnauts International – Tampa Bay Chapter, which was the original SCUBAnauts chapter, originally known as SCUBA Scouts. All of the science and SCUBA diving leadership have several years of informal science education experience, some with more than 10 years.
There are currently 25 youth participants, called ‘Explorers’, ages 10-18. They are led by a group of adult volunteers with diverse backgrounds (see Organization HQ and Tampa Bay Unit). Because of this diversity, TRUE can mentor the ‘Explorers’ in a variety of different avenues.
The mission of TRUE is to use marine science and SCUBA diving as springboards to provide truly unique experiences for its members. The experiences help the Explorers to learn about the marine environment, but more importantly, about themselves. Each Explorer is part of a team and, over time, acquires greater responsibility within that team and the organization. As the Explorer’s responsibilities grow, so does their leadership skills.