The First Steps

Billy is an avid NESS-goer and absolutely loves the water.

At first, he was a little nervous since he was not the greatest swimmer and was uncomfortable in the water. However, after a few baby steps—like getting into a life jacket and taking a trip to the dock—he took a major step by getting into a sailboat with an instructor. He was fearful of the swinging boom and the tilting that the boats undergo with wind and weight distribution. But soon he was hanging over the side of the boat cackling with laughter.

At NESS he had found an afternoon escape from school and loved the thrill of the tilting boat and dangling in the water. At the end of the day, he was soaking wet, laughing, and had even learned how to steer upwind.

Being able to help Billy take the first steps towards conquering his fear of the water showed me just how powerful this program can be. NESS provides a program that challenges students to learn in an active setting, and, in this case, has enabled Billy to conquer his fear of water one day at a time.

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