Lifeguard Challenge

We’re on a mission to certify 100 new lifeguards by December 31, 2018.

Will YOU be one of them?

Help Us Reach Our Goal


If you think competitive swimmers don't need safety vigilance, or that they are automatically capable of providing lifesaving measures if needed, think again. Even the most experienced athletes can require urgent assistance in the pool at any moment.

The Swim4Elise Lifeguard Challenge helps qualified young swimmers and coaches become certified lifeguards.

We provide full scholarships for American Red Cross lifeguard training programs (~$200 per person) to nominated swimmers ages 15 and up who apply and are approved under our program.

What is the Lifeguard Challenge Certification Scholarship?

Through our Lifeguard Challenge, Swim4Elise will select and sponsor 100 applicants to attain their American Red Cross lifeguard certifications. While lifeguard employment is optional, completion of certification will expand participants’ water safety knowledge and equip them with lifesaving skills. Lifeguard Certification Scholarships will cover all tuition costs associated with certification and will be paid directly to North Star ASI, the Swim4Elise Red Cross partner, unless otherwise pre-arranged.

Who can apply for this scholarship program?

We are seeking current USA Swimming Athletes and/or USA Swimming Coaches from the North Texas LSC ages 15+, as well as current high school swimmers and school coaches ages 15+, who are committed to improving swim safety by earning their lifeguard certifications. (We may consider USA Swimming participants from other LSC on a case by case basis.) All applicants must be physically able to meet the requirements established by the American Red Cross, as listed below.

What are the specific Lifeguard Challenge Scholarship guidelines for swimmers?

  • Available to nominated USA Club swimmers or competitive high school swimmers ages 15+ in 2018
  • 2 years’ participation as a competitive swimmer or in USA Swimming under the North Texas Swimming LSC
  • (Ages 15-18) Minimum GPA 3.0 on a 4.0 scale with unofficial transcript upload (PDF preferred)
  • 1-2 page essay (description on application)
  • Signed nomination form with recommendation from high school coach or USA Swimming coach
  • If USA Swimmer, most recent official 500 free style time from USA Swimming times
  • If high school swimmer, screen shot of your most recent event times from Meet Mobile app (PDF or JPG)
  • American Red Cross Course is chosen by the Swim4Elise Board
  • Scholarship is paid directly to American Red Cross Preferred Vendor
  • Must meet American Red Cross lifeguard certification requirements

What are the specific Lifeguard Challenge Scholarship guidelines for coaches?

  • Qualified USA Swimming or high school team coach (high schools within these North Texas counties: Collin, Dallas, Denton, Ellis, Johnson, Kaufman, Parker, Rockwall, Tarrant, Wise)
  • Able to provide valid USA Swimming ID and ASCA level, or valid high school coach ID
  • 1-2 page essay (description on application)
  • Completed nomination form (signed recommendation from a supervising or peer coach is optional)
  • American Red Cross Course is chosen by the Swim4Elise Board
  • Scholarship is paid directly to American Red Cross Preferred Vendor
  • Must meet American Red Cross lifeguard certification requirements

What are the American Red Cross Lifeguard Certification Requirements?

  • Swim 300 yards free style continuously
  • Tread water for 2 minutes using only legs
  • Complete 6 hours of online self-study
  • Complete 3 days of in-water and/or poolside instruction
  • Complete Red Cross exam(s) with 80% or higher
  • Within 1 minute and 40 seconds: Swim 20 yards, dive 10 feet, retrieve 10-pound brick, return to starting point with brick, and exit pool from side.

Do I have to apply for a scholarship to be counted in the Lifeguard Challenge?

No! Any qualified swimmer, parent, coach or friend who is willing and able to earn lifeguard certification through the American Red Cross in honor of Elise is welcome to be counted in our 100 Lifeguard Challenge without a scholarship! If you obtain your certification on your own, just send us an email with a photo of you & your new credentials, and we’ll add you to our recipients page (with your permission) and goal count.

Interested in participating?

Here’s how it works:

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    First, all applicants must complete all required portions of the nomination form in their entirety. The form requests signatures of consent and recommendation to verify the applicant’s commitment and physical capabilities.

    • USA Swimming Athletes must provide supervising coach signatures.
    • If the applicant is a high school swimmer, s/he may optionally provide a signature of recommendation from another coach (supervisor or peer).
    • All minor applicants (ages 15-18) must also provide a parent’s signature.

    When the form is complete, prepare a digital copy (PDF, JPG, etc.). You’ll be asked to upload it in the next step.

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    Next, applicants complete and submit the online Lifeguard Scholarship application. After anonymous review by the Foundation’s Board of Directors, approved applicants will be notified as soon as possible.

    Applicants will need to upload with their applications:

    • Digital copy of p.2 of this completed form, including all required signatures
    • If USA Swimming Athletes, digital copy of 500 Free swim time
    • If high school swimming athlete, screen shot (PDF or JPG) of most recent event times on Meet Mobile app
    • If ages 15-18, digital copy of unofficial academic transcript


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    If approved, swimmers and coaches will need to complete their American Red Cross lifeguard certification course prior to December 31, 2018. All associated fees will be paid directly to North Star ASI (or other pre-arranged certification facility) by the Swim4Elise Foundation.

Contact Us

2421 Ira E Woods Ave #100
Grapevine, TX 76051

Phone: 817-796-3245


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