Faces of FOSS: Nayelli Maldonado

Nayelli Maldonado
Swim Teacher
Niles, IL


What is your favorite FOSS story?

I had a student I absolutely adored. He was always enthusiastic to be in class. I always start off my classes by asking what my students had for breakfast and lunch (if it’s later in the evening). Before I could say anything, he always blurted out what he ate. I watched him move up from a Little 1 to a Little 2. Now whenever I’m teaching a class I can hear him calling out my name. The other day, he told me he learned how to do Mama Bird, Papa Birds and I was almost brought to tears. Watching a student of yours progress truly makes you proud and it definitely makes me love my job far more.

Can you recount a student of yours who experienced a major “lightbulb” moment when you were with them? 

A student of mine finally learned how to float without equipment or teacher assistance. The child screamed with enjoyment, and the parents clapped and cheered them on as well.

What is your personal favorite water activity? Why? (This doesn’t need to be about pool or teaching, could be going to the beach, water balloon fights, anything that points to water fun!):

Dolphin kicks and mermaid swimming. I’ve always loved the water and loved the idea of being a mermaid!

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