The Swimmer Scholar Program

The Trident Swim Foundation’s swimming and tutoring curriculum, the Swimmer Scholar Program, is designed as a foundation for student success, both before and after graduation. The Program is based on three core principles:

  • Discipline — Through mandatory attendance at both structured swim practices and afterschool study sessions, participants will learn the rewards and necessity of hard work in and out of the pool.
  • Self-confidence — Through competition and academic improvement, participants will better understand their abilities and their strengths.
  • Teamwork — Swimming is both an individual and a team- based sport and participants will learn how to support the goals of the team by swimming in meets, both on relays, and in their individual events.

By emphasizing academics as well as training, the program teaches the Swimmer Scholars how to apply these same core principles to their lives in the classroom and beyond.

Academic Program Details

Tutors and Mentors
The key to the Swimmer Scholar academic program is focused, individualized development. The academic aides are organized into two groups: mentors and tutors.

  • Mentors — Each mentor is assigned to a Swimmer Scholar and is responsible for meeting with him/her once a week to discuss curriculum and homework assignments, encourage strong study skills, set academic and swimming goals, and focus extra attention on weak subjects.

  • Tutors — Experts in major academic subjects are needed for each study session to help with specific assignments at least one afternoon a week.

The Foundation’s Board has ties to New York area universities and the swimming community at large. It actively recruits undergraduate and graduate students as well as area professionals to become part of the program’s tutor and mentor corps.

Classroom Space
Classroom space is required for any Swimmer Scholar program location. This includes a large, quiet study environment where students don't feel crowded; internet and computer access if part of the regular school curriculum; larger tables instead of smaller desks; and close proximity to the pool.

Code of Conduct
The Swimmer Scholar Code of Conduct emphasizes academic rigor and respect for others and one's self. It is signed by all students, mentors, tutors, and coaches in addition to any pre-existing school Code of Conduct (the document signed by students will be developed in conjunction with each partner school to comply with their restrictions). It will be strictly enforced and any reports of student misconduct will be dealt with by a disciplinary committee consisting of the coach, a Foundation board member, and either a staff member or administrator from the school. It is the Foundation’s mission to offer a safe, stable, and nurturing environment for its Swimmer Scholars and any conduct detrimental to that mission will not be tolerated.

Proper nutrition is essential to building a focused, strong mind and body. The Foundation is committed to providing its students with training in optimal nutrition, and ensures that healthy food is available to the students during the tutoring sessions. The Foundation will encourage local businesses and supermarkets to become involved in the program’s nutritional curriculum by either donating food, or helping teach the students about balanced diets.

College & Career Counseling
The Swimmer Scholar program is designed to encourage high school graduation, college attendance, and career development. The Foundation’s board has ties to elite private college counseling firms to ensure that all Swimmer Scholars receive pro bono college counseling sessions to supplement the school’s existing counselors.

Exposure to diverse careers is also an important part of the academic program. Workshops and lectures will be developed about a broad range of professions. Based on students’ personal goals, interests, and strengths, post-graduation job placement will be facilitated through either professional firms offering pro bono services or through the Foundation’s network of contacts.

Additional Learning Experiences
The Foundation’s volunteer staff and Board members comprise a broad wealth of experience across a large number of disciplines. It is the Foundation’s hope that additional out-of-classroom experiences for the students are always possible, such as museum visits, college campus tours, ethnic and cultural events, and historical field trips and lectures.

Academic Session Outline
The Swimmer Scholar's academic program consists of the following:

  • 1 hour 15 minutes of homework/study time Mon-Thurs which allows for 15 minutes of transition time to or from the pool.
  • Ample classroom space for the students to spread out and concentrate: 20 students max per session, 10 students max per group; 1-2 tutors per group per academic session.
  • Snacks will be handed out at the beginning of the study period and students will be expected to begin studying while eating.
  • Students receive homework help from consistent tutors – the Foundation will work with students' teachers to get their curriculum, assignments, and additional work ahead of time. Curriculum information is posted on a private tutor/mentor website for access before sessions.
  • Friday is workshop day. Various activities will be programmed for the students throughout the year, including:
    • Discussion of college/career goals
    • Discussion of training, practice, the team, etc
    • Discussion of school life, stress, etc
    • Discussion of lives outside of class (being responsible, living healthy, etc)
    • College and SAT prep and counseling
    • Motivational talks from community and business leaders, swimmers, alumni, etc
    • Off-site visits to museums, colleges, businesses, etc


Athletic Program Details

USA Swimming
USA Swimming is the national governing body of United States amateur swimming. It divides the nation into Local Swimming Committees (LSCs) and each LSC consists of individual club teams. The Foundation will register each Swimmer Scholar program as an official USA Swimming club whose name will be determined in collaboration with school/community leaders.

Clubs compete on a local, regional and national level throughout the year. The meets they attend are either “open”, or based on time standards that are established by the governing body of USA swimming. Swimming is both an individual and team sport because swimmers achieve their personal goal times, which allow them to qualify for different levels of competition, but meets are also scored on a team basis and acknowledged accordingly.

PSAL Swimming

Trident swimmer scholars participate in the NYC public school athletic league.  Our schools field both boy's and girl's swimming teams and compete against other NYC high schools, with a championship meet at the end of the season.

Insurance and Fees
Each member of the Swimmer Scholar program will be registered with USA Swimming and all registration/membership fees are covered by the Foundation or USA Swimming. As a registered USA Swimming member, swimmers and coaches are covered by group insurance while in the pool, on the pool deck, and traveling to/from and attending sanctioned USA Swimming meets. Insurance benefits cover a comprehensive range of claims, including bodily injury and property damage. In addition, the Foundation also holds its own Directors and Officers liability insurance as well as any other organizational insurance its Board deems prudent.

Swim Workouts
Daily workouts are comprised of 1.5 hours of structured swimming instruction. The coaching staff creates a development plan for both the team and each individual swimmer. Workouts generally focus on three main areas: general fitness, stroke improvement, and competition skills development.

During workouts the coaching staff serves as the team’s mentors and leaders. USA Swimming requires that, in order to qualify the team for insurance, at least one on-deck coach must be nationally certified in First Aid, CPR, and various Swimmer Safety courses.

The Foundation ensures that the coaching staff will be experienced and professional. The Foundation’s criteria for head coaches includes strong moral and ethical integrity, demonstrated achievement in USA or collegiate swimming, and youth coaching experience.

The coaches set competition goals, and the teams compete in USA Swimming meets throughout the year. Non-championship USA Swimming meets consist of hundreds of swimmers from a local area. Swimmer Scholars are required to compete for both themselves and their team in a number of meets throughout the season.

Lifeguard Training Program
The Swimmer Scholar program also trains its participants to become certified lifeguards if they so wish. In New York, there is a shortage of trained lifeguards and hourly wages are high. The Foundation will help students who want summer or weekend jobs as lifeguards to achieve that goal.

Swim Equipment
The Foundation provides all equipment, including suits and goggles. If the school or community does not already provide team sweats for community league competition, the Foundation will do so.