PCHS grad deep dives into whale studies off European coast

AZORES ISLANDS, Portugal — Graduating from Park City High School and being accepted at Cal Poly Humbolt University may have been highlights for many teenagers this summer but for Maddie Ho, her highlight was deeper than that. Deep, in fact, in the ocean off the coast of Europe as she went whale watching via SCUBA diving in preparation for her Oceanography classes.

She got certified at Carribean Dreamin’ SCUBA in Park City and like many locals and visitors has had the unique experience of diving in the Crater at the Homestead Reasort in Midway, UT.

Although Ho had taken a fun family vacation to Europe before with her mom, dad, and younger brother and sister, this trip was a big deal. She told TownLift was very nervous to fly without her parents across the world, but was very excited for the dive.

“The reason why I love to be with/study ocean animals is that they are a mystery to us and they are being harmed by pollution and climate change,” Ho said.

While on board, she got the added opportunity to serve as the boat’s videographer. 

Gaining worldly wisdom beyond her years, Ho said, “Even though it’s scary going somewhere without your family, it’s an amazing experience that I’d do again and again.”

SCUBA diving off the coast of Europe.
SCUBA diving off the coast of Europe. Photo: Maddie Ho
Azores Islands, Portugal.
Azores Islands. Photo: Maddie Ho
Portugal. Photo: Maddie Ho
Making new friends in Europe.
Making new, lifelong friends. Photo: Courtesy of Maddie Ho

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