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Summer jobs make a splash in central Oklahoma

The summer job market for teens has a 70 percent unemployment rate nationwide. However, in Oklahoma, it's only a 10 percent rate.
by Adam Kemp Modified: July 2, 2012 at 7:58 pm •  Published: July 3, 2012

— The scene at the Stillwater Municipal Pool made Audrey Scott's heart pound.

One second, a young girl was flying off the diving board.

The next, there was a cry for help followed by silence as the child's head slipped beneath the water.

Without a moment's hesitation, Scott leapt off her guard's tower nearly five feet above the pool's surface and dove to scoop the flailing child to safety, rescuing the girl from the 400,000-gallon pool.

“It was very nerve-wracking because I was like, ‘Oh my gosh, this isn't happening,'” Scott said.

“I told myself ‘I have to do this.' My heart was just pounding when I pulled her up. Like ‘Oh my gosh, I can't believe I just did that.' I started shaking like crazy, but it's rewarding knowing you saved a life.”

Scott, 18, said she knew before school was out that she wanted lifeguarding to be her summer job this year.

She went through the rigorous training to get certified, passing tests of endurance in the pool by treading water for two minutes without the use of her hands, retrieving bricks from the bottom of the pool and, of course, learning how to pull a person from a pool and, if necessary, bring them back to life through CPR.

For a soon-to-be high school senior, it's a pretty intense first job.

“I think it's a lot of pressure,” Scott said.

“You are in charge of lives here. We have fun, but we all take our jobs very seriously. If I take my eyes off the pool for even a second, that could be when someone slips under.”

‘Perfect summer job'

Danny Williams, the pool manager, said he hires about 10 guards to watch over his pool every summer and knows how great a job it is for teenagers.

“You have to be on your toes all the time, so it's a bit taxing,” Williams said. “But at the same time, they are learning skills and working in high-pressure situations that most kids their age won't have experience in until later in life. I think it's the perfect summer job.”

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by Adam Kemp
Enterprise Reporter
Adam Kemp is an enterprise reporter and videographer for the Oklahoman and Kemp grew up in Oklahoma City before attending Oklahoma State University. Kemp has interned for the Oklahoman, the Oklahoma Gazette and covered Oklahoma State...
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