Special Announcement From Our Team

A Special Message from Colin’s Parents, Jeff and Jana Holst: 

Dear friends, family, volunteers, and sponsors,

It is hard to believe it has been 14 years since we lost our son Colin to drowning. During this time, we have done everything in our power to help prevent other families from going through this same tragedy. We would not have had the success we have had without your support, and we sincerely thank you. Along the way, we were blessed to meet and hire Alissa Magrum as our first Executive Director. She has been an unstoppable force for Colin’s Hope, an incredible advocate for drowning prevention, and for this Alissa will always be a part of the Colin’s Hope family. It is with mixed emotions, however, that we inform you that Alissa has decided to step down as our Executive Director as she prepares to embrace the next chapter of her life. 

Alissa will continue as our full-time Executive Director for the remainder of this year and beginning in 2023 she will transition to her new role as our Advocacy Advisor. In the interim, the Colin’s Hope Board of Directors will be searching for our next Executive Director who will continue to help us reach our vision of a world where children do not drown. Please know you have our full commitment to continue to grow Colin’s Hope and our mission to prevent childhood drownings. 

Please join us as we give a HUGE hug and thank you to Alissa for not only what she has already accomplished with Colin’s Hope, but for what she will continue to do moving forward.


Jeff and Jana Holst

To my Colin’s Hope family – 

As many of you know, I began with Colin’s Hope as the first Executive Director (and then only staff member),  12 years ago this December, when I shifted from Colin’s Hope volunteer to full-time Colin’s Hope Executive Director.  My daughter, Ella was in kindergarten that year, and this past May, she graduated from Lake Travis High School. WOW! Her entire school-age years were spent with me in this role. As she begins a new chapter in her life studying Marine Biology at Bangor University in Wales, I am also going to begin a new chapter in my life.  At the end of this year, there will be a changeover in leadership at Colin’s Hope as I move from Executive Director to Strategic Advisor and Advocate. While we do not yet know who that person will be, I am honored to be able to be part of that process to help ensure that Colin’s Hope is able to navigate this changeover as seamlessly and as gracefully as possible. 

As I write this, I am overwhelmed with so many emotions. Since 2008, Colin’s Hope has organically grown from a volunteer-led local water safety organization into a trusted, respected, sophisticated, and effective water safety and drowning prevention organization that works locally, statewide, nationally, and even globally.  Again, WOW!  I am so grateful to have been able to provide leadership and expertise in my role here. I am honored to have been a part of creating a legacy for Colin to celebrate his life and his Best Day Ever spirit.  I am so incredibly proud of the programs we have created to educate parents, caregivers, and children to prevent drowning. I am in awe at the places we now see Colin’s Hope messaging- on billboards and on buses (to name a few) and to see our evidence-based and proven water safety programs reaching so many children and families across Texas, the US, and the globe. We always say that Colin’s Hope is small but mighty.  And I am feeling that now for sure as I reflect on all we have done and all that is ahead for Colin’s Hope.  I have grown as a person and a water safety professional just as Colin’s Hope has grown. This critical work has been fueled by relationships, partnerships, and collaborations with many of you. Thank you.  

 To say I am proud of, and humbled by, what we as a small yet strategic and effective organization,  have accomplished would be an understatement. 

With your continued support and our dedicated Board and incredible Program and Education Director, Jessica Brown,  I have full confidence in the future of Colin’s Hope and the work we will continue to do in water safety and drowning prevention.  It has been a privilege to serve as the Executive Director of Colin’s Hope for 13 years. I’m excited to see what Colin’s Hope will do in future years and I will be working alongside our team here to find and onboard the next leader who will join this team to shepherd Colin’s Hope to new places. This is an incredible opportunity to bring in an experienced nonprofit leader and fundraiser who believes in our mission, and who will help promote our proven programs, multiply our impact, and work on this stellar team. 

Once we have selected our new leader, I will serve the organization in an advisory capacity. I will continue to be actively involved in the organization, helping keep Colin’s Hope and its incredible programs at the forefront of water safety and drowning prevention efforts- locally, statewide, nationally, and even globally.  Our programs and resources are that good and effective, said with as little bias as humanly possible and a whole lot of truth.  It’s a new adventure for the organization and for me, and I could not be more excited to be helping with the changeover. 

Thank you for being part of Colin’s Hope family. Thank you for your support, and thank you for helping us as we navigate this waterway to a new chapter. As always, I’m available to connect and answer any questions you might have. Please reach out – I’m always here! 

With gratitude and many Best Day Evers ahead,

Alissa Magrum

P.S. – You can check out our Executive Director job posting HERE.

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