Learning to Swim

"I was so scared to even get into the water on the first day, but now after each class I feel more confident." - Maria, YES Wellness Navigator.


With summer fast approaching and drowning rates higher among communities of color, YES partnered with Richmond Swims, a community group run in cooperation with Richmond Friends of Recreation, to provide YES' adult ambassadors, known as Wellness Navigators, the opportunity to gain this life saving skill.


The swim lessons, led by swim coach, Benicia Rivera, started on January 3rd and are held at the Richmond Municipal Natatorium, aka "The Plunge". For three of the Wellness Navigators, many of whom are grandparents, this was their first swim experience ever.


"There was a lot of fear and anxiety at first," stated Tana Monteiro, YES' Community Wellness Coordinator. "It took a lot of support and encouragement from their coach and one another to keep them coming back."


Now in their third month of lessons, the Wellness Navigators are celebrating with smiles and peace of mind that they have a new found life skill. Most importantly, they are looking forward to teaching their children and grandchildren how to swim so they can enjoy the water and stay safe this summer. They are proud of their individual accomplishments and are eager to sign up for the next round of classes.