Capri (Instructor/Lifeguard 1)
What does a normal day in your role look, sound, and feel like?
A normal day at the pool usually consists of teaching swimming lessons, guarding the pool, answering any questions visitors may have, and completing maintenance tasks which include water tests, cleaning change rooms and other small cleaning jobs. As well, you get to work with amazing staff!
What is your story? How did you get to where you are now?
I grew up being very involved in sports such as swimming, volleyball, softball and many more activities. When I was ten, I began swimming with the Richmond Rapids out of Minoru. During my three years I swam with them, I also completed all of my Red Cross courses. After, I was not ready to stop swimming, so my mom began to put me in the lifesaving courses where I completed my bronze cross, bronze medallion and my Water Safety Instructor (WSI). By the time I completed these courses I has 15 and had to wait a year to complete my final three courses: National Lifeguard, National Waterpark and Standard First Aid. During that time, I got involved at Minoru as a volunteer in the swimming classes to stay busy. This is something I feel well-prepared me to get hired by the City and made my first few solo classes a little less nerve-wracking. Once I completed my final courses, I waited until the City was hiring and submitted my resume and cover letter. Once I heard back, we had an in-water interview where we had to teach a skill and perform our standards. During this time there were also staff who went over your resume with you and asked a few questions. Overall the interview day was approximately four hours! My experience at the pool has led me to pursue a degree in Sports, Recreation and Tourism at the University of Alberta as I want to continue to pursue a career working with amazing people within the recreation sector.
What parts of your work inspire you?
I would say that swimming lessons inspire me the most as they are the most preventative form of education we provide at the pool. If every person who takes swimming lessons improves their skills, we are doing our part to reduce the number of water-related injuries. As well, as an instructor I get to see my students improve their skills and move through the levels. At the end of the lesson sets, you can see how meaningful your work is when the little kids refuse to leave the pool.
What advice would you give your Grade 9 self?
If I could give advice to my Grade 9 self, I would tell myself to be more involved with City events and to start volunteering. Through all my volunteer work, I have learnt a lot about myself and what drives me to learn and take a leadership role. Volunteering has also boosted my confidence and allowed me to take risks that I would have not previously taken. By getting involved in different areas within the City, you meet amazing people who will have a lasting impact on your life.
Any words of encouragement for today's Grade 9 students?
As a student I know how hard classes currently are. Keep working hard as it will eventually pay off! Do not be afraid to ask for help and speak out when you are having tough time. Teachers, parents and friends want the best for you.
Sign up for icanhelp.richmond.ca for volunteer opportunities.