Devantae Dortch SwimSafe Program
The mission of the Devantae Dortch SwimSafe Program is to teach basic swimming and safety skills to second grade students in the Pitt County School system. Each year Pitt County Schools enrolls approximately 1800 students into the second grade. The program targets 2-3 elementary schools each session (8 weeks), and looks to expand based on resources available to operate the program. The program’s resources will be managed in cooperation with the Pitt County Schools Educational Foundation, a 501c3 non-profit organization.
This program currently works with 200-250 students per 8 week session. The selection board consists of representatives from Vidant Health, Pitt County Schools, and Aquaventure. Selection criteria include school location, participant numbers, prior participation, and willingness to participate.
The Devantae Dortch SwimSafe Program would not be possible without incredible sponsors. We'd like to thank Bojangles' for being our presenting sponsor and covering ALL logistic and travel expenses. We also thank TYR Sports for providing goggles for our swimmers, as well as BSN Sports for helping us with towels and mesh bags.
The SwimSafe program is also supported by a passionate group of swim instructors and volunteers. Aquaventure's swim instructors lead the skill groups while volunteers provide additional support. Volunteers come from all over, including East Carolina University, Pitt County Schools, and members of the community willing to donate their time and patience. Interested in becoming a volunteer? CLICK HERE for our online volunteer form and we'll have a representative contact you.
Devantae Dortch was a 17 year old student at D.H. Conley High School in Greenville, NC. He was a straight-A student and a member of the varsity football team despite possessing a hearing impairment. On May 30, 2015 Devantae was hanging out with friends on the banks of the Tar River. He jumped from a 20 ft cliff into the water and never resurfaced. Since Devantae’s passing his family has worked tirelessly to promote water safety skills in Pitt County. With the blessing of his family, the SwimSafe program was named after Devantae to honor his memory and stress the importance of water safety.