Teacher by Degree & Swim Instructor by Choice
Hi thank you for stopping by,
My name is Cynthia Sparks, I was born and raised in Mexico until the age of 17 when my family and I immigrated to this country on July 1998.
I didn’t speak any English when we moved here so learning a second language at this age was very hard and frustrating for me. Thus, I made my first goal to learn English. I immediately began to work at a close Jack in the Box to be able to pay for my ESL (English as a Second Language) classes at my nearest community college in Irving, Texas. It wasn’t easy working 40-50 hours a week while attending full time school, but I was determined and soon enough I began college credits and then I met my husband.
I was young, 21 years old, attending full-time college and working full-time. My parents were very proud of my accomplishments but after dating my husband for 6 months, he proposed and we got engaged. We got married the following year in 2013. We both had career goals, therefore we made the choice to wait to have children until we graduated college. And we did. In 2007 we both graduated with Bachelor’s degree at the University Texas in Arlington, it was challenging because we both had full-time jobs while attending university. My husband graduated as a Certified registered nurse and I graduated as an Educator.
I landed my first teaching job at Arlington High School as a Spanish Teacher. I worked there for 3 years and I began to work on my master’s degree at UTA. However, on the year of 2009 my husband got accepted to CRNA School of Anesthesia at TCU in Fort Worth, Texas and on 2011 he was transferred to Valley Baptist in Harlingen, Texas to complete his clinical residency. Our plan was to stay here in the Rio Grande Valley for the 18 months of his residency, but our plans changed. He got a job offer and we decided to stay. I wasn't too happy about this decision because my parents live in Irving, TX, but he promised me that I could travel to see my parents often.
Right after his graduation, we began infertility treatments. I was diagnosed in 2011 with Endometriosis and Adenomyosis Stage IV. We were told that we had 1% chance to get pregnant with IVF (Invitro-Fertilization) and after many failed infertility treatments we conceived our first child on December 2013. Our best Christmas present Ever. On August 31st, 2014 our big boy Colby was born. After two years, we did fertility treatments again, we conceived our daughter Charlotte (who was a frozen embryo for 2 years) she was born on October 5th, 2016. Our family of 4 (with our 2 Labradors) grew up quickly so we decided it was time to look for a bigger house. We found a beautiful home with all the must haves in our list, including a swimming pool.
Our first priority moving into our new house was the safety of our children. After much research of ways to protect them from a pool accident, I kept remembering that video that went viral on Social media of a toddler with a blue winter onesie who felt into his house pool and was able to roll back on his back and float. I thought this kid was a genius child. My son had done one year of swimming lessons at our local aquatics school and was never able to accomplish those skills. So, I kept searching for this incredible video that went viral and BINGO, I found the swimming program of that toddler who was able to safe himself when he felt in the pool, ISR (Infant Swimming Resource).
I quickly contacted ISR corporate to become an instructor, after all I'm a teacher by heart and degree. But the certification for ISR was out of town and at that moment was way out of our price range and it was going to take 2 months -4 months before I receive training. We couldn’t wait that long. So, I hired our closest ISR Instructor to teach my children and hosted classes at my house for 7 weeks.
By the end of the week six, both of my children then Charlotte 11 month old & Colby 3 years old were able to turn on their backs and float on the water and my 3 year old learned to swim-float swim- and do multiple laps in the pool. They also learned to swim with clothes since most drowning accidents happen during non swimming times. At the end of their 7 week training, my children were able to safe themselves in case of an accident. Truly a magical experience.
About 8 months later it was time for refreshers and during all this time getting my certification was still in my mind. Becoming a mother changed my life completely, the way I feel and love my children is a love I'm out of words for. As a parent, anyone can identify with these feelings. And Just hearing on the news about babies, toddlers and even older kids losing their life because of a tragic drowning accident was something that kept telling me to pursue for this program. See Back in 2013, we lost a relative in a tragic drowning accident. He was not a child, he was my cousin who I grew up with. He lost his life at a lake when he felt of the jet sky. He was a father of two beautiful children and he was only 32. Just remembering those painful moments when they couldn’t rescue him brings tears and pain until this day. The pain of losing a love one due to a tragic accident, it's unbearable.
But, as much as I wanted to become an ISR instructor, I couldn't afford the certification. But as always, God had a plan and then my skincare business felt into my lap. After a few months of working my business I was able to sign up for ISR training, a dream come true and truly a blessing on how one thing led to another. Now that I have taught hundreds of students, I realized that swim lessons are complex and therefore created my own and teach more than just survival swim lessons.
Becoming a Swim instructor was a called.
I prayed and asked God to give me purpose on my teaching gifts, he was silent for many years but ultimately, he answered. I'm so happy and feel so honored to serve my Lord’s purpose and save many lives.