Since being paralyzed in the 6th grade by a spinal cord inflammation, Transverse Myelitis (TM), Cody has raced nonstop to raise awareness and find a cure. As the daughter of Indianapolis 500 winner Al Unser Jr., she dreams of walking on the racetrack one day.
When she was just 14, she and her mother, Shelley, formed the Cody Unser First Step Foundation, which is dedicated to providing quality–of–life programs for those suffering from paralysis. These programs include a TM research consortium spearheaded by Johns Hopkins Hospital; Cody's Great Scuba Adventure, created to share her new found freedom for all disabilities; and "Operation Deep Down", a military diving program that introduces wounded veterans to scuba as a way to rehabilitate through recreation.
Cody is a political activist who has testified before Congress and lobbied nationwide for stem cell research, following in the foot steps of her friend, late actor Christopher Reeve.
Learn more about Cody and her foundation by visiting www.codysfirststep.org
2014 North American Rolex Scholar of the Our World-Underwater Scholarship Society
Ana Sofia Guerra, 24, was born in Monterrey, Mexico, very far away from the ocean. Eleven years later, after a brief move to Dallas, TX, Ana was living in São Paulo, Brazil. Through a local sea turtle NGO, she discovered a passion for the marine world and got certified as a PADI Junior Open Water Diver at age 12. After completing high school in Mexico City, Ana moved to California to attend Stanford University. Ana obtained a degree in Biology through Stanford University and she actively sought out opportunities to do her work by the water. She spent the majority of her college career at Hopkins Marine Station, Stanford’s marine biology station in Monterey Bay where she obtained her Rescue and AAUS Scientific Diver certification, and worked as a field assistant for multiple projects at Palmyra Atoll in the Central Pacific. She also had the opportunity to work closely with small-scale fishers in Baja California Sur, Mexico as well as teach and mentor students for the Stanford@SEA class aboard the SSV Robert C. Seamans. As the 2014 North American Rolex Scholar of the Our World-Underwater Scholarship Society, Ana wants to find her heading in the marine world and find the way to make the biggest impact by continuing to explore different fields in marine science as well writing and photography. She hopes to use what she learns to influence marine conservation practices, make the ocean more accessible to those who don’t have the opportunity to delve into it, and bridge the gap between the marine scientific community and the public.
Ana is thrilled to be representing Aqua Lung and OWUSS as the 2014 North American Scholar.
Follow Ana's travels and training at Our World–Underwater Scholarship Society
2012 North American Rolex Scholar of the Our World-Underwater Scholarship Society
Oregon State University Graduate
Each year in North America, one young person is chosen by the Our World-Underwater Scholarship Society to work side by side with current underwater leaders. The Scholar will participate in field studies, dive training and underwater research.
Megan found her love of the ocean early in life and is eager to share her enthusiasm with the world. A free diver and scuba diver with nearly 500 logged dives, she has researched in both tropical and temperate environments. Megan became a PADI Divemaster in 2009 and has been active teaching new divers science and skills as part of the Oregon State University and University of Hawaii diving safety programs. A science extrovert, Megan will spend this year exploring bridges between research, media, industry, and expeditions. Her ambition lies in fostering ocean literacy and boosting a conservation ethic throughout the world.
Megan is thrilled to be representing Aqualung and OWUSS as the 2012 North American Scholar.Follow Megan's travels and training at Our World–Underwater Scholarship Society