The Inspiration that led to the founding of One with the Water®
When I was a kid, my parents forced me to take swimming lessons, just like the ones I teach today. I despised going to lessons and had to be bribed to stay in the class. I despised even more having to be a part of the swim team at the age of 13. It wasn’t until my senior year of high school when I was being recruited for collegiate swimming that I actually started to think about becoming a semi-professional swimmer. I had been a lifeguard and lifeguard trainer since the age of 16. When I went to a college recruiting trip, I began to see the royal benefits of being a collegiate athlete! I was sold. My coach had me swimming and weight training 25 hours a week.
One summer, I taught kids with Autism and what I now refer to as ‘flawless imperfections.’ At the closing of the summer lessons, I realized that I wanted to do this full-time as a career. That night, I dreamt about having my own swim school. I knew I could do a great job and provide swim coaches like myself the opportunity to teach and create opportunities for others who had the same passion for teaching swimming as I have. The next morning, I started One with the Water®. I sketched out the logo and name that I had dreamt about, programmed the website, and filed with the IRS that same week. Within a week I was fully-insured, renting pool space, and teaching a hand-full of clients. Within the first month, I had another instructor and we were both busy expanding the company. I also completed numerous certification courses in working with kids with special needs and disabilities.
We offer swim programs that cater to a wide range of children and adult learners, including those with disabilities.
One with the Water® is not just about being another swim school. We are about sharing with others our passion of being in the water and living. The peacefulness we gain from swimming is something that has become greater than a life-or-death matter to us. Swimming is our passion. It is an escape from this world and its over-stimulation. Teaching people about our passion and helping them to achieve this peacefulness is our goal. We connect with people on the spiritual level, especially the kids with special needs. We build their confidence and teach them how to relax and become “One with the Water.”
Prior to starting One with the Water®, I volunteered for programs in developing countries that helped empower children and their families to become less reliant on sponsorship and more on their own abilities.
I worked in Bolivia, Venezuela, and Spain with “sponsor-a-child-programs” of Maryknoll (New York) and the Christian Foundation for Children and Aging (Kansas City) that helped to provide an education to children, as well as vitamins, nutritional seminars, and shoes and clothing when necessary. It was an incredible experience where I made life-long friends. I think my experience as a volunteer has helped me to create an organization that is family-oriented and builds a community among all of our clients. I believe it is important for us to interact as positive role-models for each other, for our clients, and especially for the kids. I advertise that it takes a village to teach a child to swim. We seek out sponsors and we are very thankful for each of them! There’s a lot involved in running a non-profit swim school and I can’t and don’t do it by myself. By teaching kids to swim, and sometimes teaching their parents how to teach their kids to swim, we develop this empowerment among the families. We hold classes and social functions to create opportunities for clients to meet each other and share stories about their experiences, and to learn from each other. Presenting education about water safety and swimming–that’s how we empower children and their families.
What do I enjoy most about helping others learn to swim?
I can’t answer this without laughing. There are two things I enjoy most about helping others learn to swim: 1) The moment that my student understands and reaches that point of being “one with the water” is like witnessing an amazing miracle that brings tears to my eyes and is a state of astounding happiness, a breathtaking moment, and 2) well, my office is an outdoor swimming pool.
About One with the Water
One with the Water®, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization strives to be the best swim school in Los Angeles. Typical swim teams & instructors use a one-size-fits-all approach that doesn’t always work for children with unique physical, cognitive, or visual challenges. Our lessons focus on safety, fun, & improved abilities. We introduce all kids to a swim team atmosphere to prepare for more advanced team swimming.
We provide swimming lessons to children and adults, including those diagnosed on the autism spectrum, ADD, ADHD, sensory integration, anxiety, Down and CHARGE syndrome, auditory processing disorders and dyslexia. We provide lessons to Service-Disabled Veterans and athletes with physical disabilities or visual impairments including amputation, cerebral palsy, spina bifida, spinal cord injury, and other disabilities.
We offer swim lessons to those with a desire to improve their swim stroke technique, triathletes looking for the competitive edge in open-water swimming, to people who have never been in the water before and want to learn to swim, and to those of us wanting to take a healthy break from the stress and over-stimulation in the world today.
Join the best swim school in Los Angeles and become…
One with the Water®.
Kenny is a baby Bottlenose dolphin, of the genus Tursiops, one of the most common and well-known members of the family Delphinidae, the family of oceanic dolphin. He is very playful and friendly and loves to frequently leap above the water surface. Kenny plays with water toys, enjoys making bubble rings, and plays well with other dolphins or other animals.