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Two brothers with a common dream

Swimming in the 2016 Olympics isn't the only goal set by Brainerd High School graduate Jared Anderson. He and his brother Trent have teamed up to provide a well for safe drinking water in the village of Shutia, El Salvador. As a sophomore at Brai...

Former Brainerd High School swimmers Jared Anderson (left) and Trent Anderson are teaming up to provide a well for safe drinking water in the village of Shutia, El Salvador.
Former Brainerd High School swimmers Jared Anderson (left) and Trent Anderson are teaming up to provide a well for safe drinking water in the village of Shutia, El Salvador.
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Swimming in the 2016 Olympics isn't the only goal set by Brainerd High School graduate Jared Anderson.

He and his brother Trent have teamed up to provide a well for safe drinking water in the village of Shutia, El Salvador.

As a sophomore at Brainerd High School, Jared won the 100-yard breaststroke Class 2A state championship and was state runner-up in the event his junior and senior years.

After graduating from BHS in 2009, he attended the University of Minnesota where he had a successful four-year career with the Golden Gophers that was highlighted when he set a school-record 52.90 in the 100 breast at the national championships his senior year.

Anderson is currently a professional swimmer with a goal of the reaching the 2016 U.S. Olympic Trials in Omaha, Neb., where a top-two finish would send him to the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil.

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Younger brother Trent is a 2012 BHS grad and is a business major at Bethel University in Arden Hills. Together, they are teaming up to use Jared's swimming talent and Trent's business and organizational skills to help others in need.

Their project involves a series of swimming camps, the first of which was June 7 at the BHS pool for ninth through 12th graders.

It all began last March when Trent went to Shutia, a village of about 1,000, on a mission trip he had helped organize through his church in the Twin Cities. While there, he saw something that ripped at his heart.

"The hardest thing for me to see on the trip was the water quality," said Trent. "There was a little boy bathing in a tub and his father was filling a cup and drinking it from the tub while his son was bathing.

"Clean water is scarce down there and everyone is sick. They're used to it, but their immune systems are torn apart inside."

Jared had wanted to make the mission trip with his brother, but was unable to take time away from his rigorous training schedule.

"It was tough for me to not go," said Jared. "I really wanted to go and to be able to make a difference. I was wondering how I could make a difference being stuck here in Minneapolis."

On the plane ride home from El Salvador the idea came to Trent of working with his brother to put on a series of swim camps to raise the $15,000 needed to provide a drinking well in Shutia. The next day he met with his brother and talked through the plan and Jared was immediately on board.

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"Trent is the idea guy and we had talked about swimming camps, but we hadn't put a purpose on it," said Jared. "When he came back with this idea of helping other people, I jumped at the chance and it really took off."

"I'm a business major," said Trent, "so I'm getting some good practice putting all this together."

At the camps, swimmers are coached by Jared who helps them develop their competitive swimming. The camps will work with each stroke, starts, turns, nutrition and will use video review to work through technique development.

Swimmers will also be given the opportunity to learn more about Shutia and see how their actions, even as small as participating in swim camps, can have an effect on people far away.

"We're hoping to raise $4,000 to $6,000 of the $15,000 needed for the well through the camps and the rest through donors," said Jared. "We're trying to put as big a dent in it as we can and get the ball rolling.

Maybe others can come in and help finish it financially."

Tax deductible donations may also be sent to: Watermark Church, PO Box 449, Stillwater, MN 5502 with "Shutia Well Campaign" in the memo line.

Watermark is a non-denominational church that was started by Jarvis Glanzer who was the youth pastor at Heritage Assemblies of God Church in Baxter while the Andersons were in high school.

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Jared's swimming career, while looking to the 2016 Olympics, is more immediately focused on competing in the U.S. Nationals in August with hopes of making the USA National Team.

"My best wins came in my last couple of swims at college," said Jared. "I'm still having fun and I feel my best swimming is still ahead of me. I'm training with several other people that graduated with me. We all still have goals and are trying to make it work. I'm learning a ton working with these guys and am getting faster."

With dual degrees in journalism and English, Jared is also working as senior reporter for the online "SwimSwam Magazine" where he covers swimming at every level.

Like most athletes continuing to compete after their collegiate careers funding is often a struggle. Jared has launched a Dreamfuel account to help raise money to make it to the U.S. Nationals.

"Dreamfuel is something that just started out last year and is a great thing for swimming as a whole," said Jared. "Coming out of college at 21- to 23-years old, you still have your peak ahead of you. Dreamfuel helps keep the dream alive."

Additional camps are scheduled in Brainerd on June 27 and July 11 for students entering grades one through five. Cost of the camp is $80 with all proceeds after expenses going to the Shutia well project.

Of the money raised on Jared's Dreamfuel, roughly 50 percent will go toward funding his trip to the U.S. Nationals. The rest of the money will provide school supplies or clothing to children in Shutia. A The link to Dreamfuel can be found at www.jaredandersonswimming.com ..

The Anderson brothers tentatively would like to return to El Salvador during Christmas vacation and hand out supplies and clothing to kids at an orphanage with money raised through donations to Dreamfuel.

Jared reflected on what it is like to be working with his brother Trent on the projects.

"We've always been close," Jared said. "Growing up we played tennis together and swam together in high school. We're three years apart and it was tough when I left for college. Now it's awesome with both of us down here together in the Twin Cities and it's cool that we can be business partners and working with kids.

"He handles things well that I don't do well. He's a detail person. It's really special working with a brother that you're close to."

For additional information on the camps, or the Shutia well project, contact Trent Anderson at SwimforShutia@gmail.com or visit www.jaredandersonswimming.com .

Former Brainerd High School swimmers Jared Anderson (left) and Trent Anderson are teaming up to provide a well for safe drinking water in the village of Shutia, El Salvador.
Former Brainerd High School swimmers Jared Anderson (left) and Trent Anderson are teaming up to provide a well for safe drinking water in the village of Shutia, El Salvador.

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