Captain Wayne Hasson Legacy Scholarship
The Sea of Change Foundation and Florida Prepaid College Foundation are offering a 4-year, undergraduate scholarship (to cover full tuition; $25,000) to an incoming freshman at any public college or university in the State of Florida. The scholarship is established in loving memory of Captain Wayne Hasson and his legacy of marine conservation and education for the youth of Florida and the world.
Download Scholarship Application and Essay Contest Officials Rules
Complete Application due 11:59 pm ET, August 1, 2021
About Wayne Hasson
Captain Wayne Hasson was a family man, Marine, SCUBA Diver extraordinaire and instructor, boat captain, pilot, world traveler and true pioneer in the SCUBA diving industry. Wayne was born in Columbus, Ohio, lived in the Cayman Islands for 20 years, then settled in Naples, Florida in 1999. Wayne fell in love with the sea at an early age while living at the Outer Banks of North Carolina. There he learned boating, diving, fishing, and boat building. He studied business and accounting at East Carolina University. Wayne was a proud U.S. Marine serving from 1970 – 1978, including a tour to the Far East supporting operations in Vietnam and service aboard USS Okinawa assisting in the evacuation of Saigon. After the Marines, he moved to the Cayman Islands where he managed “Casa Bertmar” Dive Resort and met his wife Anne.
In 1984, Wayne became the first captain of the new Cayman Aggressor (one of the first liveaboard dive yachts). The fleet later became an internationally recognized brand and leader in exploratory and expeditionary travel known as Aggressor Adventures, with luxury yachts at the best dive, safari and river boat locations around the world. Wayne became partner and President of the new, expanded company until his passing.
Wayne’s passion was to inspire youth to explore, understand, and respect the ocean and its wildlife through SCUBA diving, ocean education, and conservation. He was also an avid pilot and encouraged countless students of all ages to fly through the Young Eagles program. Wayne served on numerous company boards and business groups, including President of the Cayman Islands Watersports Association, Vice President of the Sister Islands Tourism Association, the Diving Equipment & Marketing Association (DEMA), Board of Directors, Cayman Islands Hurricane Relief Team, the Sea of Change Foundation, Oceans for Youth Foundation, Friends of Rookery Bay, and the Florida Gulf Coast University’s Eagles Club Advisory Board.
Wayne received numerous awards throughout his career, including: Beneath the Sea’s “Legend Award,” “Pioneer Award,” and “Diver of the Year – Environment Award,”; SCUBA Schools International “Platinum Pro 5000 Recognition Award”; Rotary Foundation’s “Paul Harris Fellow Award”; and was inducted into the International Scuba Diving Hall of Fame. Wayne was an active member of the Naples Pelican Bay Rotary Club and the Naples Marine Corps League, E.T. Brisson Detachment, and donated much of his personal time to ocean conservation and civic service.
About the Florida Prepaid College and Sea of Change Foundations’ Captain Wayne Hasson Legacy Scholarship
SCOPE: The scholarship will fund one worthy scholar (based on the academic merit and financial need criteria outlined in the application document) for four academic years of tuition coverage at any eligible Florida college or university with a marine science department or program. The selected scholar will have demonstrated a love for the ocean and plans to pursue a career in marine science, conservation, and/or education as evidenced by three recommendations and a personal essay. After selection of the first scholar (in 2021), should funding be available, the scholarship may be made available for the same application process in coming years.
PURPOSE: The purpose of the proposed scholarship is to create an opportunity for an academically worthy and financially needy student to pursue an ocean science/conservation/education four-year degree. Inspiring and empowering students to be good stewards of our oceans was the core of Captain Wayne Hasson’s life-long work, and through this scholarship, his purpose will continue into the future.
PUBLIC POLICY GOAL: The public policy goal of the proposed scholarship is to foster an eager and worthy young marine science/conservation/education student to complete a four-year college degree, preparing them to go on to a successful career that promotes and contributes to sound ocean conservation policies for the betterment of our oceans and for future generations.
ELIGABILITY – All scholarship recipients must be a Florida resident and within the K-12 grade levels.
The Wayne Hasson Legacy Scholarship eligibility criteria will be as follows:
- All applicants must be a Florida state resident and have attended grades 9 -12 in Florida;
- All applicants must be a current student enrolled in high school or within one year after graduating from high school;
- All applicants must have maintained an overall GPA of 2.7 or higher throughout high school;
- All applicants must commit to enroll in one of the following programs of study;
- Biology (B.A. or B.S.) with a marine emphasis
- Environmental Studies or Sciences (B.A.)
- Integrated Studies or Independent Study (B.A.) with a marine emphasis
- Marine Science (B.S.)
- Science Education (B.A.) with a marine emphasis
- All applicants must provide proof of need for financial assistance to cover tuition for a four-year course of study.
- Wayne Hasson Legacy Scholarship Applications must be completed and submitted to the Sea of Change Foundations Scholarship Committee by 11:59 pm ET, June 15, 2021.
All submitted applications must include:
- Application Form – Scholarship Application and Essay Contest Officials Rules
- Three letters of recommendation to include one from a teacher or professor that instructed the applicant and one from a mentor in the SCUBA, boating, or ocean recreation industries or the marine research/conservation community
- An essay on the subject of “What the Ocean Means to Me, My Future, and Positive Change for My Community; [APPLICANT NAME]”
- Two-years of tax/income documentation to document financial need in support of tuition
- All applicants must be reviewed by the Sea of Change Foundation’s Board of Directors and Executive Director; and an in-person/Zoom/Skype interview may also be required
About the Selection Process – The Foundation will consider one scholarship per year, as funds are available.
There will be ONE scholarship available to cover one student’s four-year course of study beginning in the fall of the academic year 2021-22. The general criteria applied will be to find and award a scholar who through excellence in academics and demonstrated love for and involvement with the ocean, will benefit professionally and financially from the awarded scholarship funds. The awarded scholar will be required to maintain an overall GPA of 2.7 and submit a “Scholar’s Report” to the Sea of Change Foundation at the end of each academic year outlining what they’ve learned and how they will apply it to their future career and to protecting our oceans. Failure to comply with these requirements may lead to forfeiture of the scholarship.
FUNDING – In partnership with the Florida Prepaid College Foundation, the total amount of the scholarship is $25,000 providing for a four-year course of study at any eligible Florida college or university.
This funding is for one student for four years beginning fall 2021 to cover tuition only. Depending on available funds, future scholarships may also be available.
IMPLEMENTATION SCHEDULE (2021):
March/April/May: SOC posts and promotes scholarship
June 15: Deadline for complete scholarship applications and all supporting materials
June 30: SOC Board of Directors reviews applications and selects scholarship winner
July 7: Scholarship awarded
August/September: Scholar begins a marine-focused, four-year course of study