Going Places with Guard for Life | Tasia Wharton
Tasia Wharton started as an American Pool lifeguard in 2011 and quickly moved her way up to become a Supervisor and Staffing Director for the next eight seasons. During her time with American Pool, Tasia was also working towards her degree and later continued to work both as a nurse and as the Staffing Director at American Pool Pennsylvania. In 2015, she graduated from Quinnipiac University with her BSN and currently works as an ER nurse at Penn Medicine Princeton Hospital. She doesn’t stop there, Tasia is currently working to earn her DNP-FNP degree at Rutgers University.
Tasia is now working on the frontlines during COVID-19 to keep others safe; we are grateful for people like her and are lucky to call her a fellow American Pool alumna. American Pool and Guard for Life are still close to her heart, and it wasn’t an easy decision for her to move on from American Pool in pursuit of her nursing dream. Despite her busy schedule, we were able to catch up with Tasia to see how her career with American Pool has impacted her nursing career today.
GFL: What year(s) did you work for American Pool’s Guard For Life program as a Lifeguard?
Tasia: I was a Lifeguard for American Pool for one summer in 2011. From there, I worked as a Supervisor for four summers and then as a Staffing Director for four more seasons.
GFL: What made you decide to become a lifeguard?
Tasia: I was a swimmer and thought it would be a great summer experience. I was always interested in the medical field and my goal was to grow up to become a nurse. Lifeguarding was a great option to get training in CPR, First Aid, and interact with people at 15 years old.
GFL: What aspects of the lifeguarding job did you appreciate most?
Tasia: The relationships developed with patrons at the pool. I was placed at the same pool for the summer and got to know the patrons well. I also learned a lot of personal traits and skills that carried into my adult life and career such as leadership skills, remaining calm in stressful/uncomfortable situations, and to communicate with people effectively.
GFL: What are some of your favorite memories as a lifeguard?
Tasia: I loved being able to work outside every day during the summer. It is definitely something I miss now working in the real world. I also loved building relationships with the patrons and the American Pool team. A lot of these relationships I still have 9 years later.
GFL: How did you decide to make the transition into working full time with American Pool Pennsylvania?
Tasia: Transitioning into working full time was an easy and hard decision at the same time. At the time, I just graduated nursing school and help was needed inside the office with staffing. At first, my intentions were to help out and move on, but the team atmosphere and fun through the job kept me for four more awesome years. So I stayed on while continuing to work full time as a nurse. It did not feel like a job while working there.
GFL: What was your favorite part about becoming a Recruiter / Staffer, and how do you feel your time as a lifeguard helped you in that role?
Tasia: My favorite part was being able to lead a team, build professional relationships, work with awesome kids, and watch my staff grow over the years. It is amazing to see what some of the staff has gone on to do from high school through college to even adulthood.
GFL: Which of your lifeguard skills and staffer skills do you believe helped you in your future achievements, challenges or current role?
Tasia: I believe the communication, problem-solving, and leadership skills helped me tremendously through college and into my career. Nursing is surrounded by communication, problem-solving, leadership, and critical thinking skills. I know the years I have worked with American Pool in many different roles, but especially training and becoming a lifeguard assisted in the growth of these skills.
GFL: Is there any advice you would offer current/future lifeguards?
Tasia: If there is anything that I would offer to future lifeguards is that it is not only a summer job. It is much more. Enjoy the days outside poolside, but take the skills taught to you for your future. It is a fun job, but you are also the youngest to learn how to save a life. The skills you learn here with American Pool will follow you through a lifetime. Doesn’t sound like much now – but in hindsight the skills are useful!
You’re Kind of a Big Deal!
You could be our next BIG STORY! We want to hear how being a Guard for Life Lifeguard has impacted your life and helped you achieve success! We’re proud of all our American Pool employees. Email us your story and you could be featured in a future Going Places with Guard for Life blog post!