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The Los Angeles County Probation Department Newsletter

One early morning in September, LA County Probation youth accomplished something none of them had ever considered possible. Four months ago, through the support of the Placement Services Bureau’s Independent Living Program (ILP), the Los Angeles County Probation Department, Rancho San Antonio Boys Home, and Malibu Divers, they began an intensive, fun-filled SCUBA (short for self-contained underwater breathing apparatus) diving program.

The Probation Department has a long history of collaboration with Rancho San Antonio, which was founded in 1933 by Catholic Big Brothers to serve the community’s foster care youth. ILP services are available for Probation youth who are suitably placed after the age of 16. The services include educational financial aid for vocational training programs such as this SCUBA diving program.

Participants can also earn college credit for participation in the program which includes advanced diving certification and connections to career pathways.

On September 1st, the youth participated in the final scuba dive at Paradise Cove in Malibu. The young divers and staff arrived early that morning, full of energy, equipment in tow, and ready to take on the Pacific Ocean.

After everyone suited up, instructor Barbara and her co-instructor Nicholas facilitated a pre-dive safety check, including testing the divers on underwater communication and an inspection of all the equipment. The positive rapport, respect, and trust between the youth and the dive instructors were evident when observing their interactions.