By Jen Alexander
It isn’t a secret that many teachers are switching careers as of late. Low pay, student behavior issues, stress and disrespect from students are all factors influencing many of these recent career changes. Rebekah Norgaard is a former teacher who has done just that. After a music education career spanning more than 20 years, she joined the ranks of other disgruntled educators who chose to pursue a different path.
Norgaard has loved both music and the water ever since she was a little girl, she told the Weekly. As a practicing divemaster, the ocean has always fascinated her, but her career path was with music education, not commercial diving.
“I’ve always loved the ocean. I consider myself to be a mermaid,” she said. “That’s why I chose a mermaid to represent my business. If I could have a superhero power, it would be to breathe underwater.”
Things began to change for Rebekah during the pandemic. Wanting a different life, she looked into colleges where she could blend her love for construction, the medical field and the ocean. She found a perfect fit at the Commercial Diving Technologies Institute (CDT) in Hudson, Texas to learn more about the underwater world. As she completed her education, she was recruited down to the Florida Keys to begin her new career.
Besides being a divemaster, Rebekah is certified in underwater oxy-arc cutting, has her hyperbaric and diving medic technician certifications, and graduated CDT as an Unrestricted Surface Supplied Diver (USSD). She worked on restructuring power lines from the 7 Mile Bridge down to Sugarloaf Key for a while, and then came up with the idea of starting her own business: Scrub Hub Diving Services.
Already well-versed in many aspects of commercial diving, she came up with the idea for Scrub Hub because she saw the need for vessel maintenance in the Keys.
“Boat maintenance may be the most difficult aspect of owning a boat,” she said. “I serve my clients in maintaining not only their vessels, but their seawalls and boat lifts as well. It’s a complete package.
“The Florida Keys have everything I’ve always wanted: warm, crystal-clear water, beautiful coral reefs and most importantly, sunshine. It’s the perfect place for me to pursue my lifelong dream of being an entrepreneur.”
Scrub Hub’s services include type I and II seawall and vessel surveying, which includes the inspection of a vessel, photos, videos and measurements. Other offerings include piling cleaning and protective wraps, dock maintenance, boat lift pressure washing, zinc anode replacement and hard growth removal. She’ll even tackle boat cleaning and detailing from top to bottom, propeller pull outs, salvaging old boat parts, welding both above and below the water, and any other underwater technical diving needs. And she’s always open to trying something new.
“We offer many services, so please just ask me and I’ll let you know if I can provide that,” she said. “If I can’t, I’ll make sure I refer you to someone who can.”
While her current career path may be very male-dominated, Norgaard said, “I’m not afraid of a challenge.”
“I understand that this isn’t the typical career path for women, but I’d like to change that,” she added, saying her next goals are to expand Scrub Hub’s community partnerships throughout Monroe County. “I’m definitely excited about the opportunities to grow my business. I’d like to start working with schools and colleges that have technical and underwater welding programs, such as the College of the Florida Keys, and offer internships and diving experience. I’m excited for what the future holds.”
More information is at scrubhubdivingservices.com, by email to email@example.com or by phone at 305-622-3131.