NAME: KALEIGH ANDERSON

LOCATION(S): SAN CLEMENTE, CALIFORNIA

YEARS LIFEGUARDING: 6

My name is Kaleigh Anderson, and I am a woman in Surf Rescue. As a kid I was a platform diver for seven years, then switched to water polo and swimming mid high school. I loved water sports and participated every summer in the local San Clemente City Junior Lifeguard program in my hometown, where I developed an immediate passion for the ocean and ocean safety. I saw few girls in towers as a youthful JG, but knew that one day I would become a lifeguard and act a role model for other young girls. I reached my goal of becoming an Ocean Lifeguard for the City of San Clemente during my transition from high school to my first year at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. My passion for the ocean enhanced while living on Oahu with my identical twin sister, who was also an ocean lifeguard with me and is now an RN. We moved to the Big Island and lived in Hilo, but always came back home to Southern California to guard. While I have graduated from the University of Hawaii at Hilo with a Bachelors in Business Healthcare Management, I continue lifeguarding because it is the best job I will ever have, and I am not ready to give it up.

Lifeguarding has never been just a job; it is a lifestyle, a series of slow days and insanely busy ones, a display of physical ability and mental focus, and a beautiful challenge of constantly preventing disasters from occurring. Lifeguards do not work to respond to emergencies, we work to prevent them — to watch for catastrophes before they happen and interject with full force. Wearing my reds is a testament to the women pioneers in lifeguarding who made it possible for me to show up everyday and know that I belong in the tower.