DIANDRA JIMENEZ: FROM Y SWIM LESSONS TO LIFEGUARD
23-year-old Diandra Jimenez has always been an avid swimmer. “Gerry (Carney) taught me swimming lessons at the Nashua Y when I was a kid. My parents had a pool and would not open it until school ended for summer break, because I was always in it.” It’s not surprising that she chose to be a lifeguard for the past six years.
“The best part of my job lifeguarding at the Y is that everyday is different. I’m good working with members and solving issues, making everyone happy and being flexible. I want to make sure everyone is safe. A lot of people know me personally and I explain any issues with the pool. We had adjusted to the reservation system for lane swimming. It helps members who want to plan their workout time. We used to have members sometimes wait to swim laps for up to an hour. It’s been interesting working through COVID. Members can be confused with the reservation system. I explain it’s available at our most busy times… when there are more people who want to swim. I do like the reservation system. Our lap lanes are very competitive in Nashua. People would wait for an hour for a lane to open up. When we are busy, everyone has their spot in their lane. There’s a lot of customer service to being a lifeguard. I’m the first line of defense when people have a complaints.”
Nashua Branch Aquatics Director, Meredith Stensaas, shares, “We are so lucky to have her on our team. Diandra is a rockstar staff member. Her can-do spirit and positive attitude has made her an invaluable team member and makes our Y community stronger.”
Diandra earned her Bachelor’s Degree from Becker College and studied a pre-veterinary concentration. She will be heading to St. Kitts in the Caribbean to study at Ross University to earn her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree, in a three-year accelerated program. “I’ve always had an interest in animals. I took a vet science course at Alvirne High School and knew I wanted to work with animals in the medical field. I’ve interned and volunteered working with animals. It can be fast paced. I enjoy really making a difference caring for people’s pets and it’s exciting,” she said. Diandra shared that when she earns her doctorate and starting practicing, she’d like to specialize in surgery, possibly with exotic animals. She had the opportunity as a Nashua North High School student to participate in an Alvirne High School two-year program, working with animals and studying hematology, anatomy and physiology. “It was a great start to my education in an area I’ve always been interested in.”
While going to school at Becker College in Worcester, she coached the YWCA of Central Massachusetts’ competitive synchronized swimming team. Additionally, she was on the Boys & Girls Club’s synchronized swim team, the Aquamarines, in middle school and high school. “I applied to be a lifeguard at the YWCA in Worcester, but when they heard I was a competitive synchronized swimmer, they offered me the coach job.” I enjoyed coaching a lot, she said.
“I’ve grown up in Nashua since I was 3-years-old and have always been a part of the Y. From swimming lessons, to afterschool care to now working here, I love the Y!,” she shared.
Stay up to date on what's happening in your community! Subscribe to our blog for events, announcements, and stories.