Learning to Save Lives: Training Future Lifeguards and Water Rescuers

submission by Leslie_Richter

About Your Application

Organization(s) name(s):

City of Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks (RAP)

Organization(s) website(s):


Organization(s) twitter handle(s):


Organization(s) facebook handle(s):


Organization(s) instagram handle(s):


Describe Your Organization(s)

Non-profit organization

For-profit organization


Other (please specify below):

In one sentence, please describe what your organization does.


The City of Los Angeles, Department of Recreation and Parks (RAP) provides healthy lifestyle opportunities and experiences for families in Los Angeles.

In one to three sentences, please describe your proposal.


Geared for youth ages 9-17, the Open Water Junior Lifeguard Program operates during the summer at two open water locations within the City. Taught by certified lifeguards, our Program is competitive and rigorous, providing instruction in physical conditioning, competition skills, and the use of professional lifesaving equipment. Our Program is designed to educate and impassion youth to appreciate and respect the marine environment and introduce youth to a career choice in water safety.

Where will you be working? Please be specific (e.g. Third Street Middle School; Boyle Heights; LA County).

Central LA

East LA

San Gabriel Valley

San Fernando Valley

South LA


South Bay

Antelope Valley

County of Los Angeles (countywide)

City of Los Angeles (citywide)


Other (please specify below):

e.g. Third Street Middle School; Boyle Heights; LA County:

Hansen Dam, Lake View Terrace, CA; Cabrillo Beach, San Pedro, CA

How do you plan to use these resources to make change? (check all that apply)

Conduct research

Engage residents and stakeholders

Implement a pilot or new project

Expand a pilot or program

Mobilize for systems change

Advocate with policymakers and leaders

Implement and track policy

Other (please specify below):

How will your proposal improve the following “Learn” metrics? (check all that apply)

Percentage of children enrolled in early education programs

Percentage of community college students completing a certificate, degree, or transfer-related program in six years

Youth unemployment and underemployment

District-wide graduation rates

HS student proficiency in English & Language Arts and Math

Academic Performance Index* scores

College matriculation rates

Student education pipeline (an integrated network of pre-schools, K-12 institutions, and higher education systems that prepares students for seamless transitions between high school, higher education institutions, and the workforce) (Dream Metric)

Suspension and expulsion rates (Dream Metric)

Truancy rates in elementary and middle schools (Dream Metric)

Students perceived sense of safety at and on the way to school (Dream Metric)

Describe in greater detail how you will make LA the best place to learn.


Our Program recognizes that youth instruction requires more than classroom activity or simple repetition of tasks. Youth instruction requires respect for the student and a holistic approach that seeks to create a stronger, wiser, more tolerant person. That vision must extend to the role of the individual in his or her community beyond the time in the learning environment. This program provides opportunity to use paddle boards, beaches and the fellowship of the lifeguarding community in that learning environment. That’s a home field advantage we can use to build better youth, better communities, and a better City.

Please explain how you will evaluate your work.


Our work will be evaluated based on the success of the participants. RAP instructors create a curriculum prior to the beginning of the program based on the United States Lifesaving Association, which is the governing body for all open water programs/agencies.

RAP's program is divided into four age groups: 9-11/12-13/14-15/16-17. Staff set the same goals for all the different age groups. For instance, during the first year, the goals set for the younger group is to ensure water confidence in the surf and open water environment. By the end of the summer, all junior guards are to be confident in the following: Open water swim in ocean/lakes, Long distance swim and run, Run/swim/run time trials, Basic CPR-First Aid-swim rescues, Competitiveness at meets with other open water agencies.

The ultimate design for the junior lifeguards besides life skills and conditioning is to also be a feeder into RAP's Lifeguard program. Many generations of our lifeguards began as Junior Lifeguards.

How can the LA2050 community and other stakeholders help your proposal succeed? (check all that apply)

Money (financial capital)

Volunteers/staff (human capital)

Publicity/awareness (social capital)

Infrastructure (building/space/vehicles, etc.)


Technical infrastructure (computers, etc.)

Community outreach

Network/relationship support

Quality improvement research

Other (please specify below):


Advocacy: Water Safety, Fitness, Healthy Lifestyles

16 Pink talk bubble tail c96b4a07ef1417e25d0bcf5c4cba4766b8bbf0382f07677990a9d5577885d4d7

Immersive, simple, direct and the ocean is right there. It is unbelievable the number of kids in LA county who never go in the ocean. Having a positive self image is often a huge hurdle for at-risk kids but it is essential to motivation. What could be more pride instilling than knowing that you can save lives.

by vanman007
5 months ago

This program is critical to helping young people see a goal and achieve it! Three of my kids became lifeguards with the city and can afford a great CSU education all on their own. The skills that they have learned has transferred to many other areas in life helping them to achieve for a bright future.

by drewsix6
5 months ago

reward businesses that hire high school students. Expose students to local industries. Such as: I work at the TIWRP on terminal Is. I've been here for over 12 yrs I don't remember ever seeing the local high school coming here for a visit. We should be more involved with the local community. We need to show young people how to apply their education. For example after taking college prep courses all through my high school years it wasn't until I became a pipe fitter that I learn how to apply Geometry and Trigonometry. Ex2 as a plumbing contractor I hired a 17 yr. old high school student from my church I asked him to go to my truck and get me a crescent wrench he had no idea what that was. Our high school students need exposure to whats out there in the real world . They need to be mentored by the community , local businesses and industries. (practical exposure)

by skd77hem
5 months ago

My granddaughter was involved last year and had a great time and learned a lot.

by bgail
5 months ago

This program keeps kids off the street and exhausted at the end of day. My son couldn't wait for the next day.

by Petrotta
5 months ago

This seems to be a phenomenal program. My friends son participated in the program and loved it. It teaches important skills and promotes a healthy activity.

by kumchu2
6 months ago

This is a great program. My daughter did the program last summer and she loved it. Both my daughter and son will be doing this summer. Thank you for all you do to make it a great program.

by DiverChuck
6 months ago

My son participated in the program and loved it. The daily workouts were difficult but he improved which gave him more confidnence to compete. He liked his coach and is considering lifeguarding for summer work when he attends college.

by jr.lifeguard
6 months ago

The Jr. Life Guard program is a great program. My daughter gained not only the life saving skills, and also the confidence and strength. The instructors were very helpful and make sure of their safety. My daughter is looking forward to the program next summer. Now my son wants to join too!

by mlpatsch
6 months ago

Amazing program. I love that the summer Jr. Guard Program keeps my son active & teaches him discipline through out the summer :) I look forward to Summer of 2016

by marsysego
6 months ago

Great program for youth and the community.

by Sarahho10
6 months ago

This is a great program that teaches kids valuable water skills. It has instilled confidence and a sense of responsibility in my child. It is a great way to stay active and have fun during the summer!

by Fariasp13
6 months ago

My kids participated in this program. They learned to swim with the City of Los Angeles in the lesson program, participated on the aquatic sports teams, and became Junior Guards. The oldest is now a Lifeguard for the City of Los Angeles. The training received from participating in the Junior Guard program is fantastic. The participants learn CPR, First Aid, SUP, canoeing, and how to spot and prevent tragedies from happening. The best part of the program is the kids are outside, physically working out, socializing with other kids, and not connected to the television, computer, or playing video games. The instructors are good with the kids and make sure the kids are safe at all times.

by 27aquagirl
6 months ago

What a great way for young people to learn real-life skills and to excel outside the traditional books-and-classroom.

by lindajohannageorge
6 months ago

I love this program. I have seen how passionate kids are about learning and how this program keeps them busy and out of the streets. Learning to swim is a very important life skill, especially living near the ocean waters in Los Angeles. Kudos to the City for offering a really great program for teens!

by ilove2swim
6 months ago

The Junior Lifeguard program at the beach exposed me to rigorous conditions that could not be simulated anywhere else. I finished the program confident in my ability to remain calm under stressful situations and in peak shape.

by waterpolodood
6 months ago

Pink ribbon award box icon 45b87e779c93f5099a48378c2aadc0fcd51184974daecf76e3f5c50034ea21fb
Award topvotedidea 5a5ae14e3d56a10363ea2a398cece46cf4df891213cbe68677c19d8903a1932a
Circle 1 inactive e7784182a1bd5eace578987db27fc19ec6337f418c48c6c8732605b9043d50d0 Step1 title submission inactive cde083e53089b973e7c9dc80a44a038c1ce4cf3b2650aeb5549157d1ed58a2d9

Submission Began
Tuesday, September 08, 2015

Submission Ended
Tuesday, October 06, 2015
at 07:00 PM UTC

Circle 2 inactive 74a43088831beb43fdbd7591ef5d50a5a7a26ff92c9e8ed489782459fa31a8d9 Step2 title voting inactive 96be722f53c417edddb5742ba9a6dc2fd403f7e4f6c19dbe883d50d20d93689d

Voting Began
Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Voting Ended
Tuesday, November 03, 2015
at 08:00 PM UTC

Circle 3 83da7a9432aeea960e1a9e9ee93e7ea1221af6c8f42b27964f2e9999d94b2b8d Step3 title 3d9e2a65d6ea1ad301f8fc607f5f828bd96362932c71d81c0da5b1fd964422b0

Winner Announced
Tuesday, December 08, 2015