Friends of Ocean Academy (FOOA) board members, Monty and Kathy Curry, discovered Ocean Academy while on a bike ride touring the island of Caye Caulker after a business trip to Belize City. Recognizing the need for a 501(c)3 tax exempt entity to facilitate donations from US citizens and foundations, Friends of Ocean Academy was established with the collective efforts of many individuals who have either visited the school or simply became aware of the vision for Ocean Academy.
Start-up efforts were begun in Tulsa, Oklahoma, but broad support for the objectives of Friends of Ocean Academy have been contributed across Oklahoma, Texas, and Belize. As a tax advantaged entity for donations and a focus of involved members, FOOA will provide financial support for facility expansion and ongoing operating costs. Contributions from the FOOA board as well as a generous contribution from the Ben and Bonnie Walkingstick Foundation have underwritten all start-up cost for FOOA, enabling additional contributions to directly benefit Ocean Academy.