About Us -

Meet the Founders

Empire Water Polo Foundation was founded by Tomas Avalos and Monica Thurman, a dedicated couple with a passion for water polo and a deep commitment to family. Their journey into the world of aquatic sports began in 2009 when their daughters, Deanna and Jenna, decided to join the water polo team at Grossmont High in La Mesa, California.

As their daughters fearlessly ventured into the world of water polo, Tomas and Monica became firsthand witnesses to the transformative power of this sport. Their daughters not only became accomplished athletes but also excelled academically, learning essential life skills along the way.

The family dynamic continued to evolve as their youngest daughter, Serena, watched her older siblings conquer their fears, excel in water polo, and thrive as students. Serena, inspired by her sisters' achievements, took up the mantle and became a water polo athlete herself. Her dedication and perseverance led her to participate in the Junior Olympics and later compete at Wagner College in Staten Island.

Serena's collegiate journey was nothing short of remarkable, as she earned numerous academic awards and graduated during the challenging times of the COVID-19 pandemic, all while securing two NCAA MAAC conference championships. Serena continued to pursue higher education and sports at Mount St. Mary's in Maryland, where she aimed to earn her master's degree. Her pursuit of big goals and a growth mindset and dedication to completing her education while excelling in the pool became a source of inspiration for the entire family.

Today, Empire Water Polo Foundation is evolving and driven by a collective vision to provide aspiring athletes in their community with the guidance, technology, and training opportunities needed to excel academically and athletically. The founders, Tomas Avalos and Monica Thurman, along with their family and friends, are passionate about making a difference in the lives of young athletes who might be overlooked by colleges in their area. While their goal lays deeply rooted in swim and drowning education, their ultimate goal is to help local athletes reach their full potential and create opportunities for academic success, all while fostering a love for aquatic sports and the values of hard work and dedication.

At Empire Water Polo Foundation, family values, educational excellence, and athletic achievement converge to inspire and support the next generation of student-athletes. Join us on this incredible journey of growth, empowerment, and community building.

Please consider donating, 100% goes to help local athlete's in their pursuit of excellence.

EMPIRE WATER POLO FOUNDATION 2024 . All rights reserved