Founder of Early Learning Swim Academy located in Port St. John Florida.
I’m a Florida native, born in Fort Lauderdale, FL and moved to Central Florida at the age of 3. Having lived in Florida all of my life, I’m no stranger to water. My family has always had a backyard pool from the time I could crawl. I grew up surfing, swimming, snorkeling, jet skiing and by the time I turned 16, I was SCUBA certified. I can’t remember when water wasn’t a part of my everyday life. I absolutely love the water and outdoor activities and know how fun it can be for children and families to enjoy. I also know how dangerous the water can be when it’s not understood or taken seriously.
When I was in high school, I had a friend lose her brother to a drowning accident. He was at his father’s house when the family was eating dinner, the child got into the family pool with no warning and by the time they found him, it was too late. Since then, he and his family have always been on my mind.
Moving forward to when I had my first child, I did some research and found that children as young as 6 months old can learn how to swim and float. It was surprising to me since I knew of a lot of parents with 2/3/4 year olds who couldn’t swim. I was skeptical at first so I did some more digging and found this wonderful news to be true. I signed up my son for survival baby swimming lessons the very next day. As a parent on the sideline, these lessons were quite hard to watch. The child works and works hard during lessons. The first few days I wasn’t sure I made the right decision but by the end of the third week I knew that it was the best decision I had ever made for my child and my family. I can’t express how proud of my son I was, how relieved I was to see him roll on his back all on his own and float, and how excited I was to share my experience with other parents. The feeling I got watching my son transform from a helpless baby to a little person with confidence in the water, enjoying the pool alongside his older cousins was indescribable.
When my son finished his swimming lessons, I began my journey of spreading the word, that babies, as young as 6 months old could swim and learn techniques to save their own life in case of an accident. We would take our son to resort pools, back yard BBQ’s, and friend’s apartment pools to let him swim. People were blown away by how little he was and what a wonderful swimmer he was. After seeing much older children in the pool with "water-wing" swim floaties on, I soon realized baby swimming isn’t something that is well known or publicized but I knew I could help change that. It was in that moment that I knew I had found my true passion in life. Raising awareness by helping children learn to swim is something that’s truly important to me. I searched all over the county to be sure I received the best possible training available. Finally, I attend the PediaSwim Academy at Southwest Aquatics with Joy McGinty where I learned the skills and techniques needed to teach babies and children how to swim and I become a certified swim instructor. I’m also CPR/AED and First Aid certified by the American Heart Association since 2000. I look forward to swimming with your child soon.