Words: Elizabeth Schwartze | Photo: Zach Cordner
Sometimes Oceanside’s most valuable community members are unassuming, humble, quality people doing what they believe is the right thing.
Juan Hernandez is that person— upon receiving the news that he was chosen as one of Oceanside’s Finest, Juan simply said, “I’m honored, but at the end of the day, it’s all about the kids.”
Juan Hernandez is the current President of Oceanside Swim Club. He has a deep involvement and love for Oceanside and its youth. Juan was born in Oceanside but moved away at six years old. After attending college at Loyola Marymount in Los Angeles, Juan met his wife, Celia, and happily returned to Oceanside where his extended family lives, raising two kids, and planting roots by getting involved with their hometown. Their son, Kaleo, was the catalyst to Juan’s involvement with Oceanside Swim Club. For five years, the Hernandez family has dedicated a good portion of their time attending practices, swim meets, volunteering at swim events, and now, serving on the board.
Founded in the 1950s, the Oceanside Swim Club (OSC) is a non-profit organization with approximately 50 to 80 swimmers from the ages of five to eighteen-years old. OSC meets at Brooks Street Pool year-round on weeknights. OSC not only strives to create strong swimmers, but well-rounded citizens as well. Every OSC swimmer must complete volunteer hours and is actively involved in the community to obtain those hours. Parents like Juan are heavily involved in community events through volunteer work. Kids interested in joining OSC can attend sessions free for one week.
One of Juan’s major undertakings is to spearhead this year’s 87th Annual Labor Day Pier Swim; a staple Oceanside event with approximately 500 swimmers participating. It’s the biggest fundraiser for OSC, and it raised $18,000 in 2015. The majority of the profits go towards scholarships for OSC swimmers. Kids that qualify for scholarships are able to swim and compete at subsidized prices. The pier swim is held every Labor Day morning and is one-mile out and around the pier.
As current OSC President, Juan is actively involved in lobbying the City of Oceanside to build El Corazon Aquatics Center. If built, the new aquatics center would benefit local youth by allowing OSC, high school swim teams, and other Oceanside competitive swim teams to practice and host swim competitions at the facility.
With a very large extended family unit in Oceanside, most of his free time is spent visiting family. Juan and his family not only contribute to making Oceanside a great community, they also enjoy all that Oceanside offers—especially, all the amazing outdoor activities and our pristine local beaches.
For more info on the Oceanside Swim Club, please visit oceansideswimclub.com