Paralympian Jamal Hill started working as a lifeguard at 16 years old at the Jesse Owens Pool (Amanda Scurlock/L.A. Sentinel)

With the summer on the horizon, more Los Angeles County residents will be making pools and lakes their primary destination. L.A. County Parks are currently recruiting lifeguards of diverse backgrounds for the summer.

To help in their effort, Paralympian Jamal Hill has been sharing his experiences as an L.A. County lifeguard.

“I understand the transformative power of lifeguarding,” Hill said. “It’s a chance to be a part of an inclusive community that values diversity and supports individuals of all backgrounds and abilities, whether completely able-bodied or people who go on to become Paralympians like myself.”

Hill started working as a lifeguard at 16 years old at the pool in Jesse Owens Park. This was his first job and he went on to work there for almost a decade. Through the job, he learned teamwork and leadership skills.

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“Being a lifeguard was one of the first times that I really experienced structured personal growth, having opportunity and really seeing the value in going above and beyond,” Hill said. “A lot of that was cultivated here.”

Hill made his Paralympic debut in the 2020 Tokyo Games where he won a bronze medal in the men’s 50m Freestyle S9. He also competed in the 4x100m freestyle relay, the 4x100m medley relay, and the 100m freestyle S10.

The hourly wage for a LA County pool lifeguard starts at $23.87 (Amanda Scurlock/L.A. Sentinel)

“It’s really cool to see when people have moved on from us,” said Jesse Owens Park pool manager Anais Tovalin. “It’s really nice to be able to showcase that you can start here and there’s so much room to grow and move on within the county and outside of the county professionally.”

To aid in pursuing his dream of teaching one million people how to swim, Hill created the foundation Swim Uphill. Through the foundation, he provides youth in disenfranchised communities swimming lessons.

In 2023, he published a book named “Sammy Swims.” Hill also won the Muhammad Ali Humanitarian Award at the ESPYs that year. He was also named on the 2022 Cohort of Young Leaders for the Sustainable Development Goals. Hill recently won the 2023 Team USA Community Champions Award.

The 2024 Paralympics will be from August 28- September 8.

LA County has been recruiting at colleges, high schools and local swim teams.

“We come to them and we can do a drop-in swim test as long as their participants have applied for the pool lifeguard candidate position online,” Tovalin said. “We can go and time them and take their official test, it’s a 300-yard swim in six minutes and 30 seconds or less to qualify for our lifeguard Academy.”

Pool lifeguards can earn an hourly wage of $23.87-$25.87 and lake lifeguards can earn $28.89-$30.50 per hour.

To apply to be a lifeguard, please visit