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 Winston-Salem, NC and we love to go to the coast as much as possible. I had my son in 2015 and my daughter in 2017, and as any parent would I put my son in swim lessons at 3 years old. My son was not in ISR lessons but a completely different type of swim lessons. On day 2 of swim lessons at this facility my son had a non fatal drowning, during lessons with instructors in the pool and a lifeguard on duty. No one knew what happened until they saw me running and screaming about my child being under water. That was the scariest day of my life.
A few months later I met an ISR instructor, knowing the importance of being able to swim, and constantly being reassured that everything was ok I put both my children in swim lessons. After the first week I saw my daughter swimming and floating, and she continued to show me her life saving skills she was learning. My son took a significantly longer time to be able to feel comfortable swimming unassisted, but today he loves the water and can swim with ease. My passion is to give people the resources to prevent another drowning, because no parent should have to go through that.