Woman’s personal experience inspires a life-changing mission

Behind the Business: Ashlee & John’s Swim School
Published: Apr. 18, 2021 at 10:57 PM MDT
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TWIN FALLS, Idaho (KMVT/KSVT) — At a young age, Ashlee Walker had a scary experience.

“When I was young, I almost drowned. Because of the skills I had gained from a similar program, I am here today,” said Walker.

She dedicates her life to ensuring others are safe around the water with her business Ashlee & John’s Swim School.

“Idaho has the second-highest rate of accidental drownings for children in the nation,” Walker said. “I aim to change that.”

Walker, herself, taught for over ten years, but a medical issue led to her no longer being able to get into chlorinated swimming pools. As a result, she’s used her experience to educate other instructors. Her operation, which works out of the YMCA on Elizabeth Street in Twin Falls, has thrived.

“We have an amazing swim lesson program with several fantastic hand-taught swim instructors,” Walker said. “We also provide a fun, all-inclusive swim team, private triathlon training, adult swim lessons and helping people with past trauma.”

Walker encourages people of any age to seek out lessons.

“We had someone who was extremely terrified of water who had experienced trauma, She was a bit older than me,” Walker said. “She didn’t think she would ever swim; but after three lessons, she was fine and swimming on her own.”

She has also helped implement programs to teach people of any socioeconomic background how to swim.

“With the help of the Magic Valley YMCA, we have started the process of offering free swim lessons for refugees and qualifying low income families,” Walker added.

For Walker, it’s a journey, which has come full circle.

“Rarely in life do you find a calling,” said Walker. “I wanted to give back and impart my knowledge into the community that helped raise me.”

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