YMCA Stories

June 14, 2012

Safe in the Water: Jazmine Holloman

Jazmine Holloman was naturally hesitant around the water. She had learned “the basics,” but she wasn’t a strong swimmer, said her mother, Luanne.

Jazmine was in her last few months of 4th grade at Delaware Academy in Syracuse when her YMCA after-school teachers told her about the Urban Swim Initiative. She eagerly signed up.

“I wanted to learn new things about swimming,” said Jazmine, 11.

Drowning is the second-leading cause of accidental death among children. In Onondaga County, on average, two children drown and three more are treated for nearly drowning each year. Nearly 60% of minority children can’t swim, making them three times more likely to drown than white children.

Working with Say Yes to Educations, the YMCA of Greater Syracuse started the Urban Swim Initiative during the summer of 2011. Through Urban Swim, city school children learn about water safety through lessons held four days a week. The lessons are provided by YMCA instructors at city school district pools.

The goal of the program is to dramatically reduce the number of swim-related deaths among city children, but also to prepare them to meet other life challenges. Urban Swim participants gain skills that will help them have fun and stay healthy the rest of their lives.

Jazmine said the instruction and time in the water has made her a stronger swimmer.

“I improved a lot,” she said. “The lessons they taught us, they made them out of games. They were fun.”

Since Urban Swim, Jazmine enjoys swimming even more, said her father, Anthony Holloman. Many of Jazmine’s friends have also completed the training, so they can now safely have fun in the water together, he said. Jazmine has even begun working with her other friends to help them become more confident in the water, he said.

“I just love that she can have fun at the pool,” Anthony said. “I’m glad she got the opportunity to do this. She loves the water.”

Urban Swim helped Jazmine in the water and on the land, her parents said.

“She ended up being like a little fish,” Luanne said. “It was definitely a confidence builder.”

Filed under Aquatics
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