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Our Story

Swimming is a critical life skill essential to water safety and has the power to save lives. Drowning is one of the leading causes of accidental death in children. We make our communities safer for children and parents by expanding access to swim lessons. Swimming is not only a lifesaving skill; it is an effective form of exercise that promotes overall physical fitness and a healthy lifestyle. And, most importantly, it’s FUN!

Swimming provides other lifelong benefits as well. Numerous studies have shown that swimming is a proven mechanism for young people to grow and thrive. Swimming has a tremendous effect on physical and neurological development in children who start at a young age, and these skills translate to improved academic ability and increased self-confidence.

Disparities in swimming ability are reflective of inequity in our society. According to the American Red Cross, only 56 percent of Americans can perform essential skills for swimming survival. For children in economically challenged families, that figure is even lower. Nearly 80 percent of children from low-income families have little or no swimming ability. RTE’s mission is to uplift people experiencing socioeconomic hardship by providing education, safety, and personal development frameworks through swimming.

About: Who We Are
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About: Meet the Team



The Rising Tide Effect team is a collective of staff and volunteers who are diverse in background and experience with swimming. Understanding that water safety and learning to swim is essential to being a human on earth, we are united and work together to amplify the message and create opportunities for underserved communities through swimming.

About: About Us

Kate Krause

Founder - Executive Director

As the founder of the organization, Kate Krause brings 15+ years as a swim instructor and a championship pedigree to Rising Tide Effect. At Siena College Division 1, she captained the swim team and won numerous medals including the gold medal in the 200 Freestyle in the (freshman) MAAC Championships.

Her success in athletics translated to business, where she excelled in equity research sales at a tier 1 investment bank. Prior to founding RTE, she served as the COO of a for-profit company, at which she oversaw its growth into the largest swimming school in New York City.

Rachel Llewellyn

Program Director - Central America 

Rachel, a Canadian living in Nicaragua for the previous 5 years, was running a small restaurant with her husband in Salinas Grandes, when COVID shut down the country to all tourism. She had been donating her time to Water & Light and was now looking at how she could still serve the organization while also providing for her family financially.  She was eventually hired as the health and wellness director of Water & Light and was researching and creating health-related education, including clean water education.

She tapped into her experience of being a swim teacher when she was living in Brampton and found her way to Rising Tide Effect. She partnered with Rising Tide Effect to bring the youth free water safety education and swimming lessons, utilizing the organization's contacts, content, curriculum, and fundraising.  

In 2021, she was hired by Rising Tide Effect to be the liaison on future Central American pilots and lead as head teacher for the pilot in Salinas Grandes.

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Start where you are

Use what you've got

Do what you can

--Arthur Ashe-- 

About: Meet the Team


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JP Rorech


Michi Jigarjian

Vice Chairperson

Melissa Griffiths

Board Member

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Georgia Harrell 

Board Member

Board Member

Lucy Rorech

About: Team Members


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Billy Krause

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Kelly Brady

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Chef Butta

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Serena Leka

About: Team Members
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