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Poly High School student arranges swim lessons for 92 other students

Program Summary

To support the community and the Aquatic Capital’s goals, Poly High School student, Catherine Som de Cerff, initiated an outreach project in the spring of 2023.  Long Beach students, who couldn’t afford swim lessons, were given the opportunity to enroll in Long Beach Parks and Recreation swim lessons through a scholarship funded by the Aquatic Capital of America. Students enjoyed eight, 30-minute lessons free of charge to prepare them for the summer. Additional funds were collected from the Poly High School Swim Team and others to cover the cost of goggles and swim caps for students who needed them. In total, 92 students received a session of free swim lessons. These students benefited by learning life-long water safety skills, reduced their risk of drowning, and are better prepared to pursue aquatic activities.

Catherine Som de Cerff

completed her Gold Award project and provided free swim lessons to 92 students in Long Beach. She worked with Aquatic Capital of America and Long Beach Parks and Recreation to create a scholarship that allowed Long Beach students to learn to swim and gain water safety skills


Catherine connected the Aquatic Capital of America with the City of Long Beach to create this program.  She also donated swim caps and goggles to students who needed them. Catherine advertised the program in schools and on social media and reached out to two city council districts in Long Beach to ensure students, who needed the scholarship most, knew about the opportunity to learn to swim for free

Through her service project, Catherine demonstrated persistence in organizing the swim lessons and provided a great service to these students, who would otherwise not be able to swim. It is no small feat to gain the support of the city administration and, at the Aquatic Capital, we applaud her efforts


Flier shared with schools, city council districts, and through social media to inform students of the scholarship. A Spanish version was also made available.

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