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Black Kids Swim’s Summer Swim Team Scholarship Program

BKS Summer Swim Team Scholarship

Black Kids Swim’s Summer Swim Team Scholarship Program

Why Summer Swim Team Scholarship?

Currently, there is a significant lack of representation and opportunities for Black children in competitive swimming in the United States and around the world. Major challenges include access to swimming facilities and programs, affordability, and the absence of adequate support and resources targeting their specific needs.

By offering summer swim team scholarships, we aim to address these issues and create more opportunities for Black children in competitive swimming.

Summer Swim Team Scholarship Scope and Goals

Previous Scholarship winner Joah Cofield

Through our Summer Swim Team Scholarship Program, we expect to achieve the following:

  • To provide a limited number of $200 scholarships to offset the cost of joining summer swim teams for eligible Black children.
  • To encourage more children to participate in and benefit from summer swim teams, thereby improving their swimming skills, discipline, and teamwork.
  • To increase Black representation in competitive swimming and foster a generation of proficient swimmers.
  • To collaborate with swim teams and community partners to promote inclusivity and diversity in swimming to cultivate a wider range of talent.
  • To measure the progress and impact of the program by tracking participants’ improvements, achievements, and long-term commitment to swimming.

How You Can Participate

Parents, individuals may donate to the Scholarship Program in a one-time or preferably a recurring format. Please be sure to select “Summer Swim Team Scholarship” as the preferred use of funds on our donation page.

Businesses may sponsor one or more swimmers. Contact us so that we may arrange details regarding your preferred swimmer.

Apply for the Scholarship

Eligible swimmers will be able to apply by filling out an online application and essay when the application period opens in 2024.

Summer Swim Team Scholarship winner Aaron Figgs

Previous Scholarship winner Aaron Figgs

Additional Benefits of Summer Swim Teams

While “learn to swim” lessons play an essential role in teaching the basics and ensuring water safety, being on a summer swim team offers significant additional advantages. When kids join a summer swim team, they participate in daily practices, allowing them to develop and hone their skills in various swim strokes, such as freestyle, backstroke, breaststroke, and butterfly, at a much faster pace.

Children on swim teams gain confidence in their swimming abilities, transforming them from mere water survivors to proficient swimmers. Swimming on a team also builds a strong foundation for future opportunities in the aquatic field, including careers as lifeguards, swim coaches, and aquatics program directors.

Furthermore, participation in a swim team fosters camaraderie, teamwork, and friendly competition, which contribute to the personal growth and development of young swimmers in ways that individual swim lessons cannot replicate.

Black Kids Swim Background & Mission

Black Kids Swim (BKS) is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization and online community headquartered in Prince George’s County, Maryland, striving to dispel the myth that Black children do not excel in swimming and to encourage them to enter and remain in the sport.

Black Kids Swim’s mission is to increase Black participation in competitive swimming by offering resources and support for families seeking guidance, motivation, and inspiration. We focus on raising awareness, providing guidance, and serving as a go-to source for competitive and non-competitive Black swim team options.

We believe that joining a summer swim team is the perfect way for kids to have a great time while exploring the world of competitive swimming.

Program Timeline

  1. Program donation period begins on Giving Tuesday – November 28th, 2023
  2. Scholarship application process opens – On or around May 1st, 2024. Actual date TBD
  3. Application deadline – On or around June 1st, 2024. Actual date TBD
  4. Scholarship awards – On or around June 15th, 2024. Actual date TBD
  5. Summer swim begins – On or around July 1st, 2024. Actual date TBD

Summer Swim Team Scholarship History

Black Kids Swim has made the following awards.

  • 2 scholarships in the program’s inception in Summer 2018 [LINK]
  • 8 scholarships were awarded in Summer 2019
  • The years 2020-2023 were disrupted by COVID. Many summer leagues did not conduct their programming.
  • BKS’s goal for Summer 2024 is 20 scholarships

Summer Swim Team Scholarship Program Successes

  • Our most notable Program success are Reuben & Aaron Williams, recipients of the scholarship in 2019, committed to Division 1 swim programs Rider University and Lehigh University in 2022 respectively. Read their story.
  • Do you have any success stories that we can add to the list? Share them with us.

Through the Summer Swim Team Scholarship Program, Black Kids Swim aims to help more kids access the benefits of summer swimming by offering a limited number of $200 scholarships to offset the cost of joining a summer swim team.

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