Youth Forward Scholarship Winter 2017 – Safe Swimming

Name: Nicolette Trandoan
From: Winter Park, FL
Grade: 11th grade
School: Winter Park High School
Votes: 0


Safe Swimming

In the summer of 2017, I obtained the opportunity to teach young
impoverished kids how to swim in Eatonville, FL along with a group of
other high schoolers. This experience exposed me to the reality of
many people unable to swim in Florida, a state surrounded by water.
This opportunity highlighted my false assumption that learning how to
successfully swim was accessible. I always assumed Floridians could
swim. Therefore I gladly fostered a crucial acknowledgement of safe
swimming: a critical skill that could save your life. I benefited by
sharing what I’ve learned to these youths who wanted to learn while
having fun.

Through this swimming program, I was able to fully develop my leadership
skills as well as interact with these wonderful children. For five
weeks I led and aided in daily 3 hour classes for kids aged 5-10
years old. This experience provided me my first chance in leading a
class of young children by myself, especially challenging with a
skill important as swimming. By the end of the first week, I led
classes for all the differing skill levels. With all the groups,
encouraging words motivated them to continue persevering despite
frustration or fear. Our “forward looking” through this
encouragement built a foundation for the kids in confidence and
courage, shaping their characters.

I taught them correct arm strokes, kicking, and breathing. When the
students could practice these skills successfully, we trained them on
combining the three into one fluid motion. This combination required
a lot of drilling as it was difficult to make the motions congruent.
This proved a challenge as it was difficult to find new ways to teach
some of the kids how to perfect their floating and strokes
congruently. Many could grasp the skills well; however some could not
understand how to correctly position their bodies. As an instructor,
I sometimes was unable to find a new way to teach a specific skill to
these children so that they could catch up to their peers. As a
result, at the end of the lesson I asked the head coordinator for
help. She gave me different techniques and drills to work on that
could potentially aid these students. From there the children and I
switched to these new drills to slowly perfect their strokes. I
gained satisfaction from watching my students slowly yet excitedly
improve their talents. Because of this challenge, I gained a newfound
respect for teachers, as it is very difficult to keep the class in
check while also teaching.

            However we were secluded in the pool. As a result, many of us teachers forgot
about the impoverished neighborhood we were in. Thus, I hope these
swimming activities made a difference in their lives by providing a
fun filled summer and allowing these kids to forget about their hard
lives at home. Because of this chance I know for sure I would like to
assist children through the sciences in the future.

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