While the Swim to Win Foundation has only been around just over three years, it is not short on ambition. Neither is its founder, Stephen G. Little, who believes the best way to prevent drowning is to provide every child with swim lessons.
After witnessing a father jokingly toss his daughter into a pool and seeing her panicked face, Little decided that he needed to help get kids swim lessons. In 2012, he teamed with several former Olympians, including Janet Evans and Rowdy Gaines, to hold an event in Palm Desert, Calif., at which more than 1,000 swim lessons were provided free of charge throughout the day.
Last year, thanks in large part to Little’s work, Swim to Win provided every third and fourth grader in Palm Desert County, Calif., with eight basic swim lessons at local YMCAs. Such a level of giving proved unsustainable, so Little has set his sights on teaching underserved children in poor communities. He brings certified swim trainers to apartment complexes with an aim to teach every child there how to swim.
In 2016, the organization is set to teach 1,000 youngsters from 20 different apartment and housing complexes across California’s Coachella Valley.