Writer Stephanie LaBaff lets Vero Beach know about the positive impact Float Hope Now has on our community.
Float Hope of Indian River County a 501(c)(3)
Founder’s son William Powers swims his way to Georgetown
Float Hope’s founder Jeffrey Powers 5th child William Powers started his first week at Georgetown University having been recruited for swimming but being accepted early based on academic merit… while not financially disadvantaged William chose to swim at age 10 after waking up from a coma. William’s recovery & success became a catalyst for the charity’s founding says Jeffrey Powers. "With my 5th child I got a swimmer by default after Will was struck by car driven by a drunken driver and in a coma for nearly a week at age 9 …not only shearing his right femur & left tibia worst of all he suffered a traumatic brain injury to the frontal lobe of his skull. Thanks to doctors at Children’s Specialized Hospital in NJ where he spent many months William eventually returned home and began the race against time that all TBI patients face to stretch the brains rubber band within a limited time clock of a year or two… Will was determined to beat it and swimming helped. William started swimming with kids half his age at Badger Swim Club but swam with passion despite his limited endurance (impairment from the TBI). William’s positive outlook on life was was jump-started through his newfound love of swimming. Swimming on a team embedded character, discipline and new goals that helped him recover. After “almost losing William”… we learned how close a family must be and how important it is that we support each other. For the first time I witnessed the enormous benefits swimming and how it allowed my child to grow physically and succeed mentally against almost insurmountable odds. William’s continued progress in high school revealed what swimming might do for the thousands of Indian River youth "without means" who have no chance to swim on a team or use swimming as a “life-skill” and I thought it could only happen if we could gift it to these children in our community. Along with Coach Barlow and McClain we started Float Hope not only to advantage kids to swim like my son… but to succeed in high school with confidence, discipline and self-esteem. My hope is for these kids to “win in life” by attending a 4-year college of their choice and bring leadership and passion back home to our community and the neighborhoods that are desperate for more role models. Float Hope’s mission is to instill the confidence in kids so when they enter high school they burst their school doors open with confidence as 9th grader. It is mission critical that our children have a positive view of themselves because by then they understand clearly how others perceive them…as it all comes into focus in 8th and 9th grade. To do that requires a year round commitment to a sport that is life changing. Swimming can do that. Swimming competitively is a life skill unlike any other”…says Jeffrey Powers the founder of Float Hope.
Float Hope of Indian River County Inc. is a charity based in Vero-Sebastian FL and funds 102 disadvantaged children, starting ages 9-11 to swim competitively as a year round sport 52 weeks a year.
William Powers bio prior to Georgetown: a four-year member of the swimming & diving team at the Brunswick School, serving as a team captain as a senior … was named Brunswick’s 2015 Swimmer of the Year … Holds the Brunswick school records in the 200- and 500-yard freestyle as well as the 200- and 400- Freestyle relay … received All-American as a senior. William was a two-time winner New England Prep School Athletic Conference (NEPSAC) champion in the men’s 500-yard freestyle … William helped Brunswick place third at the 2017 NEPSAC Division 1 Championships after finishing last in 2014 … William also swims for the Badger Swim Club and competing in the finals of the 2015 and 2016 Senior Metropolitan Championships. In the classroom he has been an honor roll student … and his Father, Jeffrey (’81) also swam for the Georgetown Hoyas and his sister, Jacqueline, was a member of the Class of 2006. Reprinted excerpts from http://www.guhoyas.com/sports/c-swim/mtt/william_powers_1054020.html
© Copyright of Float Hope of Indian River County Inc. August 31, 2017