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Sports Stars Join Baby Otter Swim School To End Childhood Drowning

Baby Otter Swim School

Baby Otter Swim School

Andre Dawson and Billy Thompson at Baby Otter Swim School Event

Providing Black Women With The Opportunity To Own Their Own Swim Schools

The more people we put in business the more lives we can save from drowning.”
— Mindy York - co founder of Baby Otter Swim School
ORLANDO, FLORIDA, USA, September 13, 2023/ -- Four years ago, a chance encounter between two South Florida leaders, Julius V. Jackson, Sr., a former Miami police officer and international businessman (a founder of Pan African Express Airlines, among other ventures) who became a leader in the Black Community, and Keith Wasserstrom, former Hollywood Commissioner, prominent lawyer, and business leader in the Jewish Community. They decided to combine forces, and their extensive connections, into the Alliance of Blacks & Jews, dedicated to restoring the collaborative relationship that previously existed in the Black and Jewish communities. Adding former NBA star, Pastor Billy Thompson, and Jewish activist, philanthropist, and business leader, Liz Brauser, as the head of the for-profit and non-profit divisions of the Alliance, respectively. With an emphasis on providing a “hand up” instead of a handout, the Alliance hoped to bring opportunities, training, mentoring, jobs, financing, and pathways to ownership and investment to the Black community, to improve the lives of underprivileged people in South Florida, the United States, and in Africa.

It was with this intent that the Alliance endorsed a million-dollar pledge to Baby Otter Swim School to help 25 women to become their own boss, as Baby Otter Swim School franchisees, through grants, loans, and scholarships. Baby Otter has been saving lives for over 40 years with their proprietary and ingenious Turn, Kick, Reach® swim program that, as the World’s Fastest Learn to Swim Program®, can teach anyone, from babies old enough to crawl to firefighters and policemen, and even a 50-year old Hall of Fame Baseball star (Andre Dawson), in just five 30-minute lessons. Baby Otter’s founders, educator Marlene Bloom and businesswoman Mindy York, are on a mission to end childhood drownings in Florida, and then the rest of the world. They smartly realized that they could reach more people, and more children, by allowing franchisees to own their own Baby Otter Swim School all over the world.

The Alliance and Baby Otter partnership will allow 25 single mothers committed to teaching minority children--those most vulnerable to drowning risks--to swim, to own their own business, be their own boss, support their family, or make extra money to improve the lives of their families and their communities. As former single moms (now, grandparents to Black and Jewish grandkids), Mindy and Marlene appreciate the challenges and struggles of single moms trying to raise children with little help and limited resources. “Giving these women the opportunity to make extra money and to own their own business is extremely empowering” noted Mindy York. “And, providing more instructors to help the most vulnerable children in minority communities helps Baby Otter to end childhood drowning much sooner than doing it alone,” added Marlene Bloom.

The Alliance is working on providing electricity, clean water, schools, hospitals, and bridges to hundreds of millions of people in Sub-Saharan Africa, where Julius, as a frequent visitor over 40 years, has established tremendous deep and long relationships with leaders in many of the African countries. “This million-dollar commitment is right inline with our mission,” said Keith Wasserstrom who sits on the board of both the Alliance and Baby Otter, “improving the lives of our friends in the Black community by providing jobs, opportunity, training, and saving lives!”

For more information about the scholarship program, contact Baby Otter at or call 1-888-SWIM KID (888-794-6543).

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Instagram: @babyotterswimschool
Twitter: @babyotterswim

Mindy York
Baby Otter Swim School
888 SWIM-KID(794-6543)
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Another life saved in just 5 days!