KATY MAGAZINE NEWS
June 14, 2023
By Natalie Cook Clark
Two Katy graduates founded Hope Swims to teach foster children with disabilities how to swim. It’s a skill that can build confidence and hopefully save lives.
Photos courtesy of Hope Swims
Napoleon Nasta-Terrazas, from Katy High School, and Sebastian Moore from Cinco Ranch High School founded Hope Swims in 2021. Through their non-profit, they teach swim lessons to disabled foster children.
“Learning how to swim is incredibly important because it can help prevent many accidents,” says Sebastian Moore. “When we teach kids this skill at a young age, we’re giving them the tool they need to handle dangerous situation, like drowning.”
The boys got the idea from Moore’s mother, who is involved in social work. She said that children in foster care are at an increased risk for drowning due to being moved frequently and the lack of stability. She pointed out that swim lessons are expensive and that often prohibits foster children from having the opportunity to learn to swim.
“We’re proud of the strides our students have made in their swimming journey,” says Napoleon Nasta-Terrazas. “Seeing their improvement throughout the years has truly been a rewarding experience.”
Since the start, Hope Swims works with local foster children ages 6 to 13.
While Nesta-Terrazas and Moore only teach foster children, they both feel that everyone should learn to swim and always take safety precautions around water.
According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, 379 children from the ages 15 and younger died last year of drowning. The state of Texas leads that report with 221 drowning deaths in children. Harris County reported the most drowning deaths with 11.
Fort Bend County Sheriff’s Office teamed up with Safe Kids Worldwide to remind families of water safety that hopefully can get that number down.
Never leave a child unattended in the pool or body of water
Ensure children wear life vests or floaties and bright colored bathing suits for visibility in the water
Never swim alone, always swim with a buddy
Swim in a designated area
Use plenty of sunscreen
Call 9-1-1 for emergencies
Learn more at the Safe Kids website.
Both Nesta-Terrazas and Moore set an example for other Katy students. They took action and made a difference in an area that they saw had a need.
“Find something that you truly love and use it as a way to help others,” says Nesta-Terrazas. “Don’t wait until the perfect moment or until you have no other activities going on.”
“The truth is, you’ll always be busy, so it’s important to learn how to adapt and make time for things that matter to you,” says Moore. “Even the small actions can have a big impact, so don’t underestimate the power of what you can do,”
Sebastian Moore will study finance at the University of Texas at Dallas. Napoleon Nasta-Terrazas will attend the University of Texas at Austin and major in Chemical Engineering. Both plan to continue Hope Swims during their summers.
“We hope to have had an impactful and positive experience on them,” says Moore.