Students help New Orleans youth to Swim 4 Success

Hannah May Powers, Staff Reporter

Carrigan English works with her student on kicks. | Courtesy of Swim 4 Success facebook

After saving five children from drowning in a community lake, 15-year-old  Laura White decided to take action, creating the inaugural Swim 4 Success in Alpharetta, Georgia. Only three years later, the program found enough success to spread to New Orleans.

Though Swim 4 Success was created 13 years ago, its core missions remain the same: to provide accessible swimming lessons to children with little to no experience in the area.

Hundreds of New Orleans youths have benefitted from Tulane’s Swim 4 Success. This program gives children an accommodating environment to develop leadership abilities, cultivate valuable skills and find confidence within themselves, all while fostering an invaluable sense of community.

Today, Tulane’s Swim 4 Success chapter has 50 volunteers who meet once a week eight times per semester in an effort to provide swimming lessons for about 80 children residing in New Orleans. These volunteers are trained in order to ensure a safe, healthy and fun environment for the students to learn. Everything from water safety skills to basic swimming techniques are covered.

To make the experience even more special, each swimmer is celebrated in a graduation ceremony upon their completion of the program. Despite the program’s tremendous graduation rate, the organization still strives to give each child the individual attention they need.

Sophomore Clare Maus, now in her fourth semester with the program, spoke to the special bond that she formed with her student over the past year and a half.

“I got to see her improve a ton, and by the time she graduated, she was able to swim a full lap of Freestyle, Backstroke and Breaststroke,” Maus said. “By the end, the relationship felt like a mentor-mentee relationship. It was great to see her grow both as a person and a swimmer.”

The program prioritizes accessibility within the New Orleans community, while also seeking to widen its scope in order to reach other areas within the state of Louisiana. Lessons are completely free to the community, allowing any child to participate in the program. To maintain this accessibility, Tulane students have coordinated fundraisers for this organization.

Tulane’s Swim 4 Success can be reached at @S4NOLA on both Instagram and Facebook.

Disclaimer: Swim 4 Success member Carrigan English serves on the Hullabaloo board.

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