Luke Mosquera of De Smet Jesuit High School

Luke Mosquera has what it takes to stay calm under pressure. Last summer, the De Smet Jesuit sophomore worked as a lifeguard at a local pool, and his intervention helped save the life of a young girl. In recognition of his actions, he was awarded the Tip of the Helmet Award by the Monarch Fire Protection District. T&S spoke to Mosquera about the incident and his plans for the rest of the school year.

How did you start lifeguarding?
I was looking for a summer job. A friend told me he was going to work at the pool, so I decided to check it out. Originally, I was going to be in the concession stand, but they told me I could take on more shifts if I was a lifeguard, so I decided to try it.

Can you tell me about the incident you received the Tip of the Helmet Award for?
It was a pretty packed day, and I was lifeguarding in the shallow end. Two little girls were playing close to me, and after checking around the pool, I noticed one of them had been under water too long. I knew something was wrong immediately, and all I could think was that I had to do something. Someone was there to help me get her out of the pool, and I did a jaw-thrust maneuver, which made her cough up the water. She opened eyes and was breathing well. The paramedics arrived, and it was all good after that.

How did it feel to have your actions recognized by the Monarch Fire Protection District?
At first, I was surprised because it happened a while after the incident. I was very proud and thankful to be recognized for what I had done.

You’re a student athlete.
My favorite sport is wrestling. It’s often less recognized and talked about than others, but I appreciate how difficult it is. You really have to keep going after it and improving yourself since it’s an individual sport. You don’t get many breaks when competing. It’s hard work, but I like that about it.

You also play football. What do you enjoy about it?
I enjoy the friendships I can build out of it. Without your teammates, you can’t succeed on the field. The camaraderie is something I enjoy that I don’t really get to experience with wrestling.

Are you looking forward to anything in the second half of the school year?
The spring is my off season, so I’m looking forward to completing some service hours. I’ve been looking into organizations to volunteer with, and I found one that works with special needs kids in sports. That’s something I’m excited about.

What do you enjoy doing in your free time?
I’m in the Spanish Club, and I really appreciate learning about the different history and culture. We also make a lot of food, so that’s fun. This summer, my friends and I biked a lot. I enjoyed getting to spend time out together.