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Our Program's History

The Beginning


We Can Swim! was founded on March 16, 2013 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania by Clarissa Palmer (University of Pennsylvania, Class of 2014), as well as Dan Schupsky and Marc Christian, both assistant coaches for the University of Pennsylvania varsity swim team. Since our start, our program has grown from a few passionate children from one school to over 100 children from dozens of schools in the greater Philadelphia area.  In the spring of 2015, We Can Swim partnered with the international charity Big Brothers Big Sisters to increase our reach. Our goal is to continue including more children from underserved areas in order to increase water safety from a young age and help limit childhood drowning incidents.  Please join us in our mission!


Clarissa Palmer, Founder



Dan Schupsky and Marc Christian, Co-Founders

Continued Improvement


2018 was a big year for We Can Swim! Not only did the club become recognized by the Student Activities Council at the University of Pennsylvania, providing reliable funding and a foundation for future growth of the program, but we also made huge strides with regards to our swimming success. We had one of our first lessons participants from 2013 swim for his high school swim team! We also had a record number of sign-ups for our spring lessons (500+!). We hope to continue this success in teaching swimming skills and expand in the near future! 

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