Texas Wesleyan University and nonprofit Adapt-Able Foundation announced their partnership with the university’s scuba program Nov. 18 at the Sid Richardson Center, 1175 Collard St.

“Once you’re in the water and you’re weightless, it takes away a lot of mobility issues that you have on land,” scuba instructor Alec Ranck said. “What we’re looking at is trying to make it more open to the community.”

The scuba program is 20 credit hours long and students will be diver certified by the time they graduate, Ranck said. Now, students with disabilities will have an easier path to becoming diver certified through the partnership.

The first Adapt-Able Foundation scuba student, Jeremy Duong, arrived at Texas Wesleyan this year. Duong is missing a leg, but that didn’t stop him from pursuing the specialty.

A few memorable people were present Nov. 18 at the partnership’s announcement ceremony. One of those people was Kyle Beck, the first graduate of the scuba diving program in 2003.

When asked what advice Beck would give Duong, he said, “Keep your head above water. Just keep going at it. That’s all we can do. I mean, that’s life. Life is like doing this stuff. You’re either swimming, or you can’t breathe.”

Adapt-Able Foundation co-founder and president Kari-Ann Melendez thanked the university for its openness in partnership.

“This is really exciting to see all of these folks supporting where our hearts are for scuba, and helping people,” Melendez said. “As good as the rest of us can feel having the opportunities to experience scuba and the freedom and the pain relief, frankly.”

Cristian ArguetaSoto is the community engagement journalist at the Fort Worth Report. Contact him by email or via Twitter. At the Fort Worth Report, news decisions are made independently of our board members and financial supporters. Read more about our editorial independence policy here.

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Cristian ArguetaSoto

Cristian ArguetaSoto is the community engagement journalist at the Fort Worth Report. He can be reached at cristian.arguetasoto@fortworthreport.org or (817) 317-6991.