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State Honoree

Laura Stein


Laura Stein, 17, of Rockport, Maine, a junior at Camden Hills Regional High School, organized and now directs a weekly youth-run tennis clinic for cognitively impaired adults living in her community. “Having played tennis for 13 years, I wanted to be able to share my knowledge and love of the game with others who would not have the opportunity otherwise,” Laura said. After obtaining support from the director of a local center for the cognitively impaired, Laura solicited donations of weekly court time and funds to purchase tennis rackets, balls and other equipment. She recruited her brother and another teen to help, developed lesson plans for each session, and coordinated schedules and arrangements for every participant. During the program’s second season, Laura started planning a statewide expansion of her program and a Special Olympics tennis event. She feels she has benefited from her “Tennis for Fun” project just as much as the participants. “Any way in which you can reach out to the cognitively impaired of your community will make a great difference in your life,” Laura said, “but more importantly in theirs.”