First Strokes: Free Swim Lesson for HS Students

My name is Sylvie Goldner, and I am the founder of First Strokes Ltd. a tax-deductible 501c3. I am a junior at Bard High School Early College in lower Manhattan, and I created this program to offer free swim lessons to my peers in NYC who never learned to swim.

Swimming is an important safety & life skill, which can be taught at any age. The goal of First Strokes is to open the world of swimming & water safety to all high school students in NYC. There is an entire community of teenagers who grew up with no access to swimming pools. In fact, 1 out of 4 NYC public high school students cannot swim.

As a high school student, it can be embarrassing to take swim lessons with younger children. First Strokes addresses this issue by creating a safe space solely for high schoolers (lessons are taught by lifeguard-certified high school students).

First Strokes is spreading the joy of the water to these teenagers -- because it is never too late to take your first strokes.

To expand First Strokes to a daily, after-school program, we are seeking funding to rent additional lane space. Ideally, lessons will be taught in multiple lanes five days a week during the school year (open to all high school students in NYC). With expanded lane space and lesson times, we can increase our reach to over 100 kids per week. To spread the joy of the pool to all, are goal is to raise $50,000.

  • Stacie Millman 
    • $15 
    • 30 mos
  • Katherine Sorel 
    • $40 
    • 30 mos
  • Maxine Jaffe 
    • $50 
    • 30 mos
  • Maxine Jaffe 
    • $200 
    • 30 mos
  • Debbie Clower 
    • $100 
    • 31 mos
See all

Organizer and beneficiary

Sylvie Godner 
New York, NY
Marjorie Goldner