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The 2023 Justin Lee Diver Scholarship Program

A new and exciting opportunity is upon us. It is a new avenue of sports and athletic development for the island of Hawaii, targeting spearfishing youth.

In 2023, FreediveSafe Hawaii is launching its first-ever diver scholarship program to nurture and advance youth spearfishers on the Big Island of Hawai’i. This program will train divers to freedive/spearfish safely and more effectively to depth with longer bottom times. They will advance their ocean safety skills with CPR, First Aid, O2 provider and ocean rescue training. The program connects divers with spearfishing industry leaders to inspire and cultivate future leaders of the sport. Graduates of the program will be safe, well-rounded, ethical spearfishing representatives who put sustainability and community first.


  • between 12-20 years old
  • Hawaii Island resident for a minimum of 2 years
  • strong interest in spearfishing and advancing opportunities in the freediving or spearfishing industry
  • able to attend in-person practical training sessions Kona/Kohala and access ZOOM for industry talk story sessions with Justin Lee and friends.

Application Process (Open until Jan 31, 2023)

  • Cover page with your full name, address, phone number, age, school name, years freediving/spearfishing, and social media account
  • Share your story! Tell us about your passion for spearfishing, how this program will help you get closer to your goals, and share your favorite hunting story (land or sea). Maximum 1,000 words.
  • Optional: share your favorite hunting story on Instagram video and tag @bigisleboy24 and @freedivesafehawaii. (You may add diving videos, but they must not portray any safety violations such as spearfishing alone or illegal or undersize fish. Not sure, feel free to ask.)
  • Submit applications to by Jan 15th 2023

Mandatory In-Person Training Duration

  • Three days of freediving depth training for certification
  • Two days of ocean rescue training
  • Optional zoom meetings throughout the year

Award Process

USA National Spearfishing Champion and program mentor, Justin Lee, will review the applications and announce our 2023 cohort of divers on Tuesday, Jan 31th, 2023.