Editor's Note: This story was originally published in the winter 2020 edition of 1845: The Magazine of Tilton School. Maureen Taggart’s fellowship with Shooting Touch ended at the beginning of August 2019. The fellows spent the last week of July 2019 at a camp in Senegal. At time of publication, Maureen was working at a middle school in Burlington, Vermont, leading after school intramural basketball sessions. Maureen continues her world travels!
Every morning, Maureen “Mosie” Taggart ‘14 wakes with the Rwandan sun. Walking down the street en route to her morning workout, she is greeted by the joyful laughter of children. “Mosie! Mosie!” they yell, anxiously awaiting her reply. This morning routine is her favorite part of living in Kayonza, a district in Eastern Province, Rwanda. Here, Taggart resides as a fellow for Shooting Touch, an organization that uses basketball to educate and empower at-risk youth, women, and their communities.
“I've always valued working with kids, and I fell in love with psychology while I was at Tilton,” Taggart says. “I've always wanted to work with kids, so that's what made this seem like such a perfect opportunity because it involved basketball, kids, and traveling. It hit the trifecta.”
Every year, Shooting Touch chooses fellows based on an extensive application process. The year Taggart applied was the first year three fellows were chosen. This fellowship, the first and only that the organization offers, is strictly based in Rwanda, one of the smallest countries on the African mainland.
Taggart’s road to Rwanda and Shooting Touch was paved by being both a Tilton School Ram and a Northeastern Husky. During her time at Tilton School, Taggart was a two year student, a member of the Girls’ Varsity Basketball team, and a community service volunteer. Under the leadership of Coach Tara Brisson, she was part of a two-time NEPSAC Class B Championship team, winning in both 2013 and 2014. She went on to Northeastern University, where she played for the Huskies Womens’ Basketball team under Coach Kelly Cole. She was recruited by Daynia La-Force, mother of fellow Tilton alumnus Terrance Mann ‘15, who currently plays for the Los Angelas Clippers.
“When I think about Northeastern I think about Tilton, because it’s where I grew as a basketball player and as a person which allowed me to have a college career,” Taggart says.
“Northeastern had always been my dream school. My aunt had coached soccer there, I love Boston, and I liked the university’s idea of cooperative education...really, actively learning. Shooting Touch is a lot of that; learning while you're doing things, not just sitting on the court.”