Badger Swim Club is very proud of the accomplishments of Alumni Jeff and Will Powers. Both father and son are Badger alum and have been an integral part of the Badger community for many years. The work Jeff is doing with Float Hope is inspirational and we wish him luck.
Founder’s son William Powers swam his way to Georgetown
Float Hope’s founder Jeffrey Powers 5th child William Powers started his freshman year 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 a year earlier. William’s swimming miracle 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 and 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 recover quickly with the hopes of healing before the clock stops… 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 jump-started with his newfound sport, a process of learning, liking and then loving competitive 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 to us what swimming might do for the thousands of Indian River youth “without means” who have no chance to swim on a team only if they could be gifted swimming as a “life-skill.” Since Indian River County was #1 in income disparity we felt it could only work if we engaged young children and gifted the sport to children without means. Along with Coach Barlow and McClain we started Float Hope not only to advantage kids to swim like my son… but to enter and 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. Float Hope’s children are passionate and beginning to develop a positive view of themselves because by age 13 kids begin to understand clearly how others perceive them…so it must be embedded in their DNA year round while they are ages 6-11. 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.