By Becky Holland
MARSHALL – Charisma Rosenquist first became a lifeguard when she was 15 years old. “When you are 15, and it is the summer, and there aren’t a lot of jobs out there for you.” She became certified through the American Red Cross, and has continued to keep up her certification, and now runs Charisma’s Safe Splash Swim School.
Mother of five-year-old twins, Gloria and Gideon, Rosenquist has two day jobs, but when it is swim season, she is all about teaching water safety.
“I have always loved being in the water, and it is like second nature to me,” Rosenquist said. Though in the beginning, it proved to be a little scary.
“I almost drowned when I was five years old,” Rosenquist’s voice got a little quiet. “I remember my sisters were out swimming over there, and I wanted to go to them.” She remembers hitting the water, and vaguely remembers her mom hollering as she was coming toward her. Her sisters were too far to get to her. It was her dad who pulled her to safety.
“There are too many drownings, or near drownings in east Texas,” Rosenquist is very passionate about making sure that children know how to swim. “Hopefully, what I can teach them, will give them confidence, and the skills they gain can help save their lives.”
She started teaching lessons at Swim with Gina, another swim school in the area, before opening Charisma’s Safe Splash Swim School.
Being a American Red Cross Certified Water Safety instructor and lifeguard, Rosenquist has taught swim lessons for more than 13 years.
“I can teach children or adults water safety, basic stroke development and some competitive swim techniques,” she said, “and we will have fun in the water.”
Rosenquist teaches lessons in a private pool in Marshall. She also does lessons in Longview. “I can do private lessons, as well as group lessons. I try to be accommodating as I can, especially with those families that have two or more children, so we can do them together if need be,” she said.
She also has gained experience in working with children and youth who need special accommodations. One of her favorite students, Maddie, is a survivor of a near drowning incident, and has physical limitations.
Rosenquist says that babies as young as six months could get in a pool with their parents. “I think that is not too early to start getting the baby comfortable in water.” She says that two or three years of age is when she would start teaching swimming skills.
The pool is located at 304 Pinewood Drive in Marshall. She can take small groups – six or less and will do private lessons. Lessons are 30 minutes Monday-Thursday, and begin June 6.
Costs for a small group are $60 a week, or $50 a week if you sign up for two week sessions. Private lessons are $20 per lesson, which is $80 a week, or $75 a week if you sign up for two week sessions. Discounts are available for siblings.
For more information or to schedule lessons call Charisma Rosenquist at 903-263-8510 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also find Charisma’s Safe Splash Swim School on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/charismasswimschool.