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Maria Taylor – Host & Analyst ESPN & SEC Network, America

Maria (@mariataylor) is a highly motivated individual – once a top-level volleyball player and now a sports presenter in a male-dominated industry. She told us where she finds purpose and how that has changed over time.

“Originally, it was just like, get to ESPN, work on whatever the biggest games are, be the best broadcaster ever. That has gone from being my sole focus to like, ‘While you’re on this platform, how are you serving others?’ I think that takes time and I think that takes maturity.

In the beginning, you just want to serve yourself, like graduating from college, you’re just like, ‘How can I be the best version of me?’ But, at some point, I realized, it can’t always be about me, because if I only focus on myself, that’s eventually just going to get depressing. Anytime I mess up, it’s going to be depressing. Anytime something doesn’t go exactly the way I thought it was supposed to go, I’m going to be overly upset about it.”

“When I have a mentee that gets into grad school, I’m thrilled. When I hear that another one gets a graduate assistantship at a school, I’m like, yes. I feel I’ve already had a success that day.”