PPCD Members: North Carolina
This passion really began when I first started working as a lifeguard and swim instructor in high school. I went on to obtain my Early Childhood Education certificate, operated a large in-home preschool, and taught in a variety of facilities including, my favorite, a Montessori school. During this time, I continued to lifeguard and teach swimming at the YMCA. I was asked by several families if there were any ISR instructors in the area - it became apparent that there was a desire for something more than the mommy and me classes available. After researching ISR, I applied to become an instructor, was accepted in 2013, and trained in 2014. From there, I established Safe Swim NC, now one of the Triad's leading providers of swim lessons and safety training.
Through ISR, I became increasingly educated on water safety and drowning statistics and have become a strong advocate for survival swim lessons and educating on the layers of drowning prevention. I soon recognized amongst the families I taught a need for safety training and swim lessons for parents and older siblings and obtained my American Red Cross Instructor Certification for Water Safety/Swim and CPR/First Aid/AED Adult and Pediatric. Wanting to further my efforts in our community and beyond, I launched the 501(c)(3) nonprofit Hand in Hand Water Safety Awareness Foundation, with the mission to equip all people with survival swimming skills and water safety best practices to prevent drowning-related accidents.
My husband, Anthony, and I live in Greensboro, NC and our family grew by TWO when our twin sons were born in June of 2014. They have brought us more joy (and exhaustion) than we could ever imagine! When I'm not teaching lessons, you'll find me at church, walking our dog (Sedona), trying new recipes (and restaurants!), exercising, learning to be crafty, DIY projects around the house, cheering for Arizona sports, traveling and spending time with my husband, family and friends.
When I observed an ISR Lesson with a baby floating in the water, it brought tears to my eyes and I was captivated. I immediately entered the process to become an ISR Instructor and I continue to be passionate about ISR lessons and drowning prevention many years later. This passion has only grown since having my twin boys in 2014 and personally experiencing the deep feelings of love and protection that only a parent can feel. I am privileged to be making a difference in my community by teaching unique, life-saving, confidence-building skills to young children. I love almost anything aquatic and want children to be able to enjoy the water safely for a lifetime!
My eyes were open to the world of ISR when I brought my fourth grader to sign up for homeschool swim, I watched as a toddler was swimming and then floating to save her life, one of the layers of protection. I was instantly amazed and knew my 20 month old needed to be a part of this organization and these skills, I also signed my then 4 week old up well for ISR at seven months old as well.
During our ISR lessons, I asked questions, learned about water safety, layers of protection, Hand in Hand water safety foundation and how I could be a part, Safe Swim NC and all the wonderful things they do for our community. During this time I have grown to be part of a team and a family I never thought possible. I now have a huge passion for helping inform our community with information to help prevent childhood drowning, helping with scholarships, marketing and so much more, because I know I am able to make a difference.
I found a new passion, grateful for the opportunity to be co-leadership as Marketing chair for Hand in Hand Water Safety Awareness Foundation and also be given the opportunity to be an American Red Cross instructor with the Safe Swim NC team. I'm proud to help save lives and blessed to find this passion that I will continue! I will continue to reach out and inform others and spread awareness.
My family is from North Carolina, and a good portion of my life has been centered around the water. When I had my children I knew the importance of swim lessons, and to teach them safety around water. So as soon as I could I enrolled my son into group swim lessons. On day 2 of swim lessons he had a non fatal drowning incident. There were swim instructors and a life guard on duty, but none of them knew he was under the water until they heard me yelling to get him out as I ran over. Luckily, he was ok, and in that moment I realized how silent drowning can be.
Months later I met an ISR instructor that talked to, and reassured me, that if he were put in swim lessons he would be ok. So with a leap of faith I put him and his sister into private swim lessons. My son took significantly longer than my daughter to swim and float with confidence , unassisted, due to his fear of drowning. Here we are years later and he loves jumping into the deep end of the pool and swimming around.
Through this experience I have developed a great passion for reaching out, and providing water safety information to my community. I have a strong belief that everyone should have water safety resources available to them. It is my passion to educate as many families as possible, so that no parent has to go through any type of drowning incident.