Theresa Scott Smith, Current Parent
I have two sons. One is nine and the other one is six, and they’ve been with The Josh Project for maybe a year and a half. They absolutely love the water, but I’m afraid of the water because I don’t know how to swim. Now, the nine year old is about to graduate. He absolutely loves it. But my six-year-old – it took him a while to get used to the water, because he didn’t want his face wet…But we just went to Orlando, Florida, and we went to a waterpark…and he’s so comfortable. He’s actually diving in the water, and I see him float under the water and holding his breath. All this time I’ve been watching him [in lessons], he was playing and splashing and learning – but I never saw actual skill until he [was put into a situation] where he didn’t have a life jacket and had all these little kids around him, and he was free to do whatever he wanted to do. And he felt that comfortable. So he was holding his breath, and he was swimming to one side and just floating and saying, “Mom, look at me! I can do this and I can do that”
Because of my kids, each kid in our family wants to learn how to swim [now]. And I videotape everything, so I can actually show everyone in the family. No one in the family knew how to swim [before now]. But because of the organization, now I can show my little nieces and nephews the video, and I tell other kids and their parents about the program. I let them know that it’s not even expensive, and that the kids love the water, and that [them knowing how to swim] will make you not be afraid of the water. My kids are pushing me to learn, because of The Josh Project.
Madison Smith, Former Student
When I was younger, my aunt took me here [to have swim lessons]. She took me and my cousins, and we swam here for two years, and after that we stopped because I could swim really well. [When I started] I was an okay swimmer, but now I’m so much better.
What I liked most was that [the swim instructors] paid attention to what we needed help on. They didn’t play around, they didn’t joke with us. They stayed there and just focused on us and us learning how to swim.
Kathryn Moore, Volunteer
Part of the reason I like volunteering with The Josh Project is that it allows me to interact with the kids, and I try my best to encourage them, because a lot of them are afraid. The kids also like to tell about their progress when they come back, like, ‘I dunked underwater today!’ or “I was doing flips in the water today!’ So that’s why I really love the program. And it is like a family, it is like a second family. I have the opportunity to go to various events with the Butts family and truly just help in any way that I can, because I’m passionate about the program. I really think it’s important for kids to learn to swim. But The Josh Project is just an extension of my family, so that’s what I really love about it.