NewsPositively San Diego


Black SeaWorld dolphin trainer inspiring kids of color in San Diego

Caleb Bills is part of the dolphin shows at SeaWorld San Diego
Posted at 7:08 PM, Mar 16, 2023
and last updated 2023-03-16 22:08:27-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — After his first visit to SeaWorld San Diego as a 4-year-old, Caleb Bills knew he wanted to work there when he grew up.

"SeaWorld has a very special place in my heart," said Bills, who is now a dolphin trainer at the famous park.

Now, Bills is inspiring kids himself.

Lauren Holmes brought her daughter, 8, and her son, 4, to SeaWorld and was overjoyed to see Bills at work during a dolphin show, saying she has never seen a black dolphin trainer before.

"It really is representation and seeing that you are included in something, is really important," said Holmes, who says she waited about 30 minutes to snap a photo of herself, her kids, and Bills all together.

She shared the picture on a local Facebook page, Black San Diego, and dozens responded with the same enthusiasm.

According to the Pew Research Center, in 2021 black employees made up only 9% of the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) workforce "compared with their share of all workers."

"You want your kids to know that the world is theirs and they can do whatever they want," said Holmes regarding what an inspiration Bills was to her kids.

Holmes says now her daughter wants to grow up to become an art teacher and a dolphin trainer.

"Being able to inspire her children and also being able to represent my own community as well within the STEM field... I think is really important," said Bills.

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