My name is Mary Cengel and I first started with SwimSafe as a new lifeguard at MSTC. After two years there learning and becoming more confident as a lifeguard, I moved to the City of Montgomery (COM) pool. This pool was much bigger and more crowded than MSTC, so I had to enhance my skills to meet the tougher requirements. AT COM, SwimSafe helped me to grow and improve my “life skills” by challenging me with more responsibilities. It’s these valuable lessons in “life skills” that have helped me grow into the business professional I am today.
Entering my freshman year of college, I applied for the SwimSafe Employee Excellence Scholarship. Motivated by my passion for swimming and teaching swimming, I had chosen “helping the underprivileged learn how to swim” as my high-school senior year Capstone Project. With drowning being the second leading cause of accidental death in children under 14, I believed this was something the swimming community should work together to improve, so all children can learn how to swim. This project was a key part in me winning the SwimSafe Employee Excellence Scholarship, because it showed that SwimSafe taught me to have passion for the work I do.
After lifeguarding for three years, I was promoted to manager of a small pool for the summer of 2016. It was a very rewarding job experience, since it helped me grow and become more confident in my ability to make the right decisions. Managing a pool may seem like a small task, but it taught me many of the “life skills” I mentioned earlier. You have the safety of people and the operation of the pool in YOUR hands. If the chemical room bursts, it is your job to solve the problem efficiently and effectively keeping the people’s safety in mind at all times. I was well-trained by SwimSafe to handle situations like this along with many others. I was also a swim lesson coordinator which helped me improve my communication and planning skills as well.
As a sophomore marketing major at Ohio State, I began applying for internships pertaining to my major. I was able to secure an internship, but not with SwimSafe. Even though I accepted this job, I was hoping to continue my love and passion for lifeguarding and teaching people how to swim. Swimsafe agreed to let me work as a substitute lifeguard and was willing to work around my internship work schedule. With SwimSafe’s flexibility, I was able to gain valuable experience in marketing and pursue my love of lifeguarding and teaching swimming at the same time.
Five years with SwimSafe have truly improved my “life skills” and furthered my career. My problem solving ability, work ethic, organizational skills, communication, and passion for swimming and teaching lessons have all improved during my tenure. The training and support I received at SwimSafe helped me grow a great deal both personally and professionally. I am so grateful I applied for a lifeguarding job with a company that would change my life for the better. I would not be the person I am today without SwimSafe.
SwimSafe donates a $1,000 scholarship to the employee who shows they have done the most to give back to the world of aquatics. To be eligible, you must apply and include an essay on the things you have done to promote swimming and safety in the community. The scholarship can be used at the school of your choice. Talk to Human Resources for instructions on how to apply or email Feliz@swimsafepool.com