MEET JENNA TWAIT: after experiencing a tragedy at a young age, she learned to live life to the fullest and not live a life of fear, which ultimately lead her to serve overseas under the sea .
How did you first become interested in scuba diving?
I first became interested in scuba diving when my former biology teacher introduced me to it. He loves to go out and dive, and he encouraged me to try it my freshman year, and I loved it! It was then when I decided to get certified. My parents were a little nervous at first because it’s a very risky thing, although they knew I wasn’t going to let them stop me from living my life to the fullest. When I was 9, I lost my good friend in a boating accident when we were out skiing one day. Ever since then, I have wanted to never let my worries get in the way of chasing my dreams.
How did you decide to go to Portugal and what did you do during your time there?
I decided to go to Portugal when I was going through mission trips last fall. I knew I wanted to go somewhere, but didn’t know what I wanted to do there. When I came across environmental scuba diving, I knew right away that one was for me. The ocean is a big part of our world, and making sure it stays clean is so important, and I wanted to help. When we were in Portugal we did just that. We picked up garbage under the sea and on the top of the water. It was such a life changing experience.
What did you learn through fundraising for your trip?
What I learned through fundraising for my trip was to never underestimate how much people love you. I got so many donations and sold so many shirts to support my trip. Even if they didn’t buy a shirt or give me money, they would still show their support by praying, sending text, or talking to me in person. It was so amazing.
What’s something about Portugal that surprised you?
Something about Portugal that surprised me was how friendly the environment was. My parents were afraid to send me overseas, but the people over in Portugal were amazing. Everyone was willing to help you or show you were to go without being rude.
What advice do you have for someone who wants to make a difference but isn’t sure where to start?
My advice would be to just go for it! Even if you think you can’t fundraise a lot, you will surprise yourself. This trip was the best decision I’ve ever made, and I can’t be any more happy about my decision. Never let your fears get in the way of your dreams!