Tell us about your experience as a lifeguard at Kenilworth Beach. I truly enjoyed my four years guarding. Both my dad and uncle had been lifeguards at the same beach, so I was honored to take my place on the chair—continuing this family tradition. Years ago, my uncle was on duty when he saw a swimmer struggling. He pulled him out and performed mouth-to-mouth CPR, saving his life. It was a constant reminder that this seemingly relaxing job comes with important responsibilities.
Any sage advice for beachgoers this summer?
Sunscreen and shade might not seem cool in the moment, but your skin will thank you later.
What was the funniest thing that happened while you were on duty?
Each Friday morning would start calm and serene, until around 9:30 when herds of Sports Plus Kenilworth Campers would come running down to the beach. These elementary school kids were always full of energy, creating mischief for the counselors and lifeguards.
Any interesting questions asked of lifeguards?
People don’t ask anything too crazy but a typical day might include little kids asking to sit in the chair or blow the whistle, boys asking for extra footballs, teenagers asking for a spare charger, and parents asking to bring wine down.
There must have been some beautiful days… I loved watching the colorful sunfish boats from the Kenilworth Sailing Club. I learned to sail there, continuing my sailing on Lake Michigan to Sheridan Shores, and now I’m on the Northwestern Sailing Team.
You’re a New Trier graduate with ten years as a competitive swimmer, the last four as a swimmer for New Trier’s state-winning team. Were all lifeguards swimmers?
The majority of us had competitive swimming experience, which certainly helped to pass the Red Cross certification course. When there were no patrons, it was fun to test our open-water swimming in Lake Michigan.
How did lifeguarding, if at all, prepare you for the rigorous academic path you’re on?
Lifeguarding is all about preventative mentality. As a college student I think this reinforced the importance of staying ahead of my work, constantly keeping up with engineering problem sets and class papers.
Do you think you’d ever want to lifeguard again? Just for fun?
As I enter a new phase in life, I guess it’s time for me to swap out my bright red bathing suit and whistle for business casual and a laptop! This summer, I will be a technical consulting intern for Navigant.