Iconic photographer, educator, diver, and marine advocate Ernie Brooks II centers each day on creating waves of positive impact. In 2011, he discovered a kindred spirit in Santa Barbara Middle School, an independent school dedicated to teaching younger generations how to make a difference through lifelong learning, adventure, and service.
In 2016, Ernie gifted a permanent home to SBMS, entrusting them with the continuation of his life's work. With expansive ocean views and a rich history, the nearly $8 million dollar Jefferson Campus property is among the largest financial contributions ever given to an independent school in this region. Were this the only gift Ernie had ever given, it would stand as a stunning tribute to his generosity and vision.
But there is so much more. Like the ocean waters he frequents, his story is profound, and the magnitude of his influence extends to depths unexplored.
Journey with us through articles, videos, personal vignettes, and other artifacts of a life well lived as we dive deep into the living legacy of one of the world's great difference makers. Each section of this site uncovers yet another aspect of what Ernie has given our world, revealing that the real gift lies in how he has lived his life and the example he has set for us to follow.