The Pool & Hot Tub Alliance (PHTA), has named the recipients of the 2023 PHTA Scholarship, honoring public swimming pool or spa operators who have pursued further education to better protect public health.

The scholarship is for PHTA-certified pool professionals or their immediate family. Applicants submit an essay. This year’s question asked what applicants would do if they had $100,000 to develop a water safety program in their communities.

Kate Perry, who attends Georgia Southern University, received the $2,000 Board Scholarship. A Certified Pool & Spa Operator with several American Red Cross certifications for lifeguarding and first aid, she has served in the aquatics industry in many capacities, including swim instructor, lifeguard, service technician and aquatics manager. Her essay addressed the generational barriers that can result in fear of the water and the importance of learn-to-swim programs aimed at both children and their primary guardians.

Kaitlyn Hamacher, who attends Western Michigan University, received the $1,000 Foundation Scholarship. The daughter of a CPO instructor, she has an Associate’s Degree in studio art and currently is double-majoring in studio art and psychology. Her essay explained the importance of layers of protection, including swim safety education.

The program she proposed would help homeowners equip their pools with safety covers, as well as provide additional learn-to-swim programs through initiatives such as PHTA’s Step Into Swim.

Perry and Hamacher will be recognized at the World Aquatic Health Conference in Las Vegas in November.

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