Miss Julia, as her students call her, has been teaching infants and young children survival swim lessons since 2004 when she initially joined the nationally recognized Infant Swimming Resource (ISR). In 2008, she became a Master Instructor and trainer with ISR and traveled throughout the country teaching and training new instructors on how to teach babies. In 2012, Julia made a decision to leave ISR and continue with her established SOS Swim School.
Julia first became interested in teaching survival swimming when her daughter Madison was 15 months old. She was dissatisfied with the options for swim lessons available to her in the area in which she lived. Research showed that the closest that would teach actual skills to infants was a one hour commute away. Though this seemed extreme for such a short lesson, Julia decided that this was not really an option but a necessity. She drove two hours every day for a 10 minute lesson. The following February Madison fell into the pool. She was in full winter clothes. She did exactly what she was taught. At that point there was no question; she felt drawn to help other families in keeping their children safe in and around the water.
Julia has always had a passion for aquatics. When she was six years old she went to the pool daily and hung on the fence asking the diving coach to give her a chance. Finally, after lengthy negotiations she was able to start diving lessons. That enthusiasm lasted for 16 years. During that time she competed in the USA Diving Junior Olympics going to Nationals and ultimately securing a scholarship to Florida State University.
While at FSU, Julia found she also had a passion for recreation and received a B.S. in Leisure Services and Studies from the Department of Education. Upon being asked to work with the University of Florida, she took a position in the Department of Health and Human Performance and received her master’s degree in Recreation, Parks and Tourism and a minor in Public Relations.
Teaching survival swimming lessons has provided Julia with the perfect opportunity to combine her passions and contribute to her community at the same time. She continues to be dedicated to teaching children survival skills.