The Shawn D. Delifus Foundation is managed by seven board members, Logistic Manager (sme), Social workers (sme), and US Veterans, the foundation was established in 2016 after the sudden death of Shawn DeAngelo Delifus, Shawn was the CEO of the Stroke Doctor International where he developed and patented swim techniques and concepts that catapulted two of his swimmers to the 2016 Rio Olympics, where they collectively earned five gold medals. He was also named Florida's 2016 Age Group Coach of the Year as he achieved the elite status of ASCA Level 4 certification; held by the top 8-9% of USA swim coaches...moreover he served on the USA Swimming committee Minority Underrepresentation.
Committee, which was formed to address the historic issue, lack of minority participation in water sports, he visited many public parks in Jacksonville underserved communities conversing with deck managers to gain interest and support for his StrokeDoctor International programs however, there were little to no interest. Shawn was aware of the long-standing issues in communities of color as it relates to poor nutrition habits "obesity"; and the overwhelming amount of drownings, his objective was to impact these issues of 64% of black youths can't swim,45% of Latino children can't swim, and approximately 10 children drown each day, 3,650 people every year, black children drown at a rate nearly 3X's the rate of other groups,70% of Black Neighborhoods and 81% of Hispanic communities lack recreation facilities compared to 38% of other neighborhoods. Black and Hispanics ages 5-19 drown in swimming pools and ocean waters at a rate of 5 times greater than other ethnic groups, that suggest black and Hispanic kids was not learning the skill of swimming. Black youths and obesity are another challenge "even more-so now"; since Covid-19 unwelcomingly entered our lives, morbid obesity is at an all-time unacceptable level particularly in low-income communities (targeted audiences). Stressors such as high blood pressure, asthma, diabetes, personality disorder's anger . SDDF is aware of evidence-based self-management programs such as swimming helps promote healthy, long-standing lifestyles.
SDDF partnered with local and federal partners to move forward with Shawn's initiatives by partnering with other organizations and raised over $104,000 that went directly toward our on-going education programs in nutrition, lifeguard pre-certification leadership and character-building initiatives which impacts the lifestyles, health, safety, and welfare of our Jacksonville community. We value each partnership however, there is always those that consistently stands out and rises to the occasion with concrete and long-standing support of our mission, and those two are Sigma-Gamma-Rho Sorority who has provided subject matter experts to our curriculums repeatedly over the years, ensuring our children and families was well equipped with the necessary safety tools as it relates to pool chemical exposures as it relates to chlorine, sun, and salt. Since 2016, and joint ventures with the Johnson Branch YMCA we have created and directed programs and financed those initiatives with over $55K in funding for children and families.
Communities of Color Issues with water:
We discovered women of color was mostly concerned about their hair getting wet while in and around water, the current traditional swim cap failed to provide the needed protection from water because of the myriad of hair-styes associated with our targeted group ,therefore we designed and created our own multi-use swim cap called (StrokeDoctor Swim-bonnet) via Invent Help in an effort to encourage participation in water sports, we currently have a Provisional U.S.Patent Invent-Help is still looking for a manufacture for our invention.
Swimming/ Water Safety Program:
Since 2016 SDDF has reduced the number of drownings significantly in the communities and multiple zip-codes serviced by providing power-point presentations at our local COJ Public libraries, we have trained over 900 children and families in beach-safety'; "etiquettes" , pool, spa, and open-water dangers iaw National Consumer Protection, state Of Florida, Center for Disease Control, EPA, and St. Johns River Water Management guidelines. Participants was taught and demonstrated the basic skill sets of swimming and emergency management techniques, learning respect for bodies of water, it is inhabitants and complexities. How to install safety intrusion devices around bodies of water to prevent small children from entering those areas. They were taught beach etiquette, signage rules and regulations, respect for others, self-discipline, litter containers. Parenting-skills... responsibilities while visiting the beach.
Because covid-19 is overwhelmingly affecting communities of color, we enhanced our pre-existing nutrition, healthy foods preparation and eating program. Our salaried nutritionist demonstrated real time food preparation in the presence of our participants, they were taught how to shop, read food labels identifying hazardous ingredients and their long-term exposures, expired shelf-life items and how to prepare healthy meals at home during this pandemic.
Lifeguard Pre-Certification, Leadership and Character-Building Program:
This program is managed by a Licensed Social Worker, Mental Health Counselor, Certified Swim Coach and SDDF Board Member (George Ibanez) who initially trained Shawn D. Delifus to train others. Due to Covid-19 and complying with CDC guidelines our program was scaled down to accommodate safety protocols as it relates to social distancing. This program objectives are to train lifeguards, leaders and build character within these leaders. The lack of lifeguards in communities of color is astounding, therefore SDDF decided to fix this problem by training lifeguards, once trained and certified by the Red Cross, our children will have the opportunity to obtain summer employment around the city, meanwhile the opportunity exist for public school swim teams and potential scholarships for their participation on these teams. Our program breed leaders with character "strength, originality, individuality and continuity", all critical elements and attributes for children developing survival skills in marginalized communities.