Giving Thanks: Hear What our President and Founder is Thankful For

Dear Big Blue Family,

My name is Chris DeJong, and I am the President and Founder of Big Blue Swim School. As we enter the month of November, I am overwhelmed with gratitude for so many pieces of the Big Blue journey so far. I founded Big Blue in 2009 in Glenview, IL. The year prior, I had moved to Chicago and started teaching swimming lessons out of a 60-year-old pool in the basement of a church. Despite the less-than-ideal conditions, I built a strong student base of families eager to give their kids a quality learn-to-swim experience. As a former competitive swimmer, I knew the impact that swimming had on my own life — the strength, the discipline, and the sense of community — and I wanted to pass that on in a larger way, paired with the importance of teaching early swimming skills and water safety to young children to help eliminate childhood drowning. A lot has happened since those early days of Big Blue and reflecting on that today along with how far we have come since then proves that there is so much to be grateful for.

First and foremost, I am incredibly thankful for the opportunity to have worked with, and to continue to work with, so many incredible people who have helped to turn this dream of providing such an important, life-saving skill for children into a reality. Since our humble beginnings in 2009, we have opened 29 pools (and counting) and provided over 3.2 million swim lessons to children all over the country – a number I could only have ever dreamed of when we first began. There are countless people to thank for helping us to achieve such an impactful number. From our dedicated instructors and staff to our franchise owners and management team, it takes a village to make Big Blue the amazing swim school that it is today. Their impact on Big Blue is truly immeasurable.

But my gratitude also extends beyond our team at Big Blue. I am immensely grateful for all of the families across the country who trust us with teaching their children such an important life skill. We understand that your children's safety is of the utmost importance, and we take that responsibility seriously. It is such an honor to support all our Big Blue families by providing a fun, engaging, and safe environment for children to learn and grow in the water. At Big Blue, we believe that swimming is so much more than just a physical activity - it's a gateway to building confidence and unlocking lifelong skills and potential. Every time I see one of our students conquer a fear or achieve a new milestone in the water, it fills me with a sense of pride and joy. Swimming truly has the power to transform lives, and I am grateful for the opportunity to be a part of that process for your family. Thank you so much to all the families who have taken or continue to take lessons with us.

As we continue to grow and open more locations throughout the country, we remain committed to teaching kids that they can do anything by unlocking their full potential in the water. We are honored to be a part of your family's journey, and I am honored and humbled by the incredible work that so many have put into building Big Blue into what it is today. We look forward to continuing to help children across the country develop the skills and confidence they need to succeed. This time of year is recognized as the season to reflect on and acknowledge what you’re thankful for, and it remains abundantly clear that both the Big Blue team and I have plenty.

Wishing you all a safe and happy November,

Chris DeJong, President and Founder