When Maureen O’Toole decided to go to Long Beach City College, there was no women’s water polo team…so she played on the men’s. Gender barriers were not going to stop Maureen. Ever.
Maureen’s time at LBCC led to a swimming scholarship to the University of Hawaii, where she continued what would become a 30-year water polo career, in which she won MVP of the U.S. Women’s National Team 15 times, U.S. Water Polo Female Athlete of the Year five times, World Water Polo Female Athlete of the Year six times, and All-American team for U.S. Water Polo a record t28 times!
To top it off, when women’s water polo was added to the 2000 Summer Olympics, Maureen came out of retirement, and at age 39 helped the US women’s team win Olympic silver.
Today, Maureen combines her love of sport with an MA in Education as the founder of The Pursuit of Excellence Sports Academy, a non-profit foundation that uses a sports environment to teach self-esteem and leadership to girls ages 8–18.
Maureen O’Toole’s career could’ve sunk before it got started. But she refused to let other people’s limited ideas about what she was capable of determine her future. This is why she’s the essence of a community college grad. She’s a real person who used a community college degree as a diving board to launch her career. (Sorry about the bad pun–we’re swimming in them over here.)
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