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Scott Thompson, co-founder of Oaklantis Swimming alongside lifelong Oakland swimmer and equal access advocate Tracy Fidell, began swimming at the age of six. Scott swam competitively all the way through college, competing for the University of Florida under coach Gregg Troy, a U.S. National Team coach and the 2008 head U.S. Olympic coach for the U.S. Scott excelled in the sport: he was a multiple-time Michigan State Champion in high school, All-State, All-American, and Sectional Champion. In other words, Scott did not just wake up one day and say, “Hmmm… I think I’ll start an organization to expand access to swimming for kids in Oakland.” He has lived, breathed, and swum opportunity and excellence in the sport his entire life.
Photos care of Thompson Homonnay Photography
Here in the U.S., many young professionals’ and new parents’ five-year plans include goals like “pay off car,” “save down payment on house,” and “take trip to Hawai’i.” Imagine if we collectively readjusted our focus so our five-year plans sounded more like “make a positive difference for others” and “improve access to quality health care for children around the world.” Really. Imagine that. Take a moment. We’ll wait for you to return before continuing.
Back? Great. Check this out.
Mandee and Cam didn’t wait around for the rest of us to get on board with this imagined collective shift of attention and resources. After a humanitarian mission to Guatemala in 2010 during which Cam aided children who were dealing with such dental pain, swelling, and oral infection that they could not eat, play, or enjoy life, he and his wife Mandee decided to take matters into their own hands. They set in motion a plan to move their entire family to rural Guatemala for a year to provide free dental care to the children living there.
Photos care of Mandee Quayle