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Cooper Johnson
Pismo Beach

I feel that I should be honored as California Junior Lifeguard of the Year because every day I fulfill my commitment to make myself better because I know that lives will depend on me in the near future. I make myself hurt during every exercise my squad does. That little bit of pain today is what will make me able to go that much further to make a rescue. I know that if I slack off, I might be just a second too late to save a drowning swimmer. When my instructor gives us strange and seemingly pointless exercises to do, I complete them without question, because I might gain experience that will help during an unorthodox rescue. When I am a lifeguard, the public will trust me to be there for them, and I owe it to them to be in the best shape and have the best knowledge. I will continue to push myself and learn everyday at Junior Guards until I reach that point.

Kyle Markman
Seal Beach

I think I deserve to be the Honored Junior Lifeguard because I've always been placed in all the high groups. I always give my best effort in everything we do. Each day I am quizzed on all sorts of trivia about the beach and I am one of the few that knows the answers. It is possible that you may know these three fellows, Joe Bailey, Jeff Martinek, and Kyle Heinrick. These three guys crammed all that knowledge into my brain. They worked my body pretty hard, but I'm used to it because I like lots of physical activity. If it weren't for all the hard work they put me through, I wouldn't have placed fifth in flags last year at Regional Competition. I know I didn't make it to Nationals, but fifth is not too bad. There was another guy that was really inspirational, too and I'm sure you remember him. He was A.J. Summers. He thought I was special enough to take me with him to do an interview on television about Junior LifeGuards. I feel that if there is only one person to win for ability, courage, and smarts, it would most definitely be me.

Leah Robertson
Newport Beach

As I think about all the qualities a person should have to represent California as the 2000 Junior Lifeguard of the year, I am convinced that I would be a good candidate for this honor.

I started the Newport Beach Jr. Lifeguard program when I was eight years old, making this my fourth year as a "C" Jr. Lifeguard. This will be my third year participating in Regionals and have been fortunate enough to compete at Nationals in Chicago and New Jersey.

Winning races and being part of the Regional and National teams has certainly bee a highlight of my Jr. Lifeguard experience, but I think it is more than that. It is about making friends, helping others, being respectful, responsibility, staying in shape, building confidence and of course, learning beach and ocean safety. I proudly wear my uniform, knowing I am representing the City of Newport Beach.

This year I helped several kids train to pass the initial swim test. I swam with them during the test…..sort of like a pace car…to help motivate and cheer them on. All the kids I worked with were successful in passing and Mrs. Boyer even suggested I get business cards! She was just kidding, but I hope to some day be working for her.

This year I have met new physical challenges and am learning new life skills. Winning this special award would mean so much to me, but just participating in this program, has made me feel like I have already won!