Leaders of the Month

Advantage Kids behind-the-scenes stories of those who make it happen.

Co-Executive Director Brittany Boles,

January’s Leader of the Month, brings the magic.

We’ll be ringing in the new year and the new decade with January’s Leader of the Month – our own Brittany!

Brittany Boles, co-Executive Director of Advantage Kids, wears many hats. Our resident Magical Yogi, she brings a decade of experience working with youth to our courts – and our headquarters. From designing all our pretty marketing materials to managing our social media accounts and helping pull off events like TennisGolf, she brings creativity and a positive attitude to our behind-the-scenes.

“I’m like the moon to Dawn’s sun,” she says about her dynamic partnership with co-Executive Director Dawn Dragon. Together, they are leading Advantage Kids into a new dimension of youth development.

Brittany is a certified Yoga & Meditation instructor, and is currently leading our kids in Laconia and Nashua in these mindful practices via our new Tennis PLUS (yoga + meditation) programming. Something special happens when Brittany gets our kids onto their mats; the room becomes calm and peaceful, people open up, and everyone’s focus becomes clear.

We are so grateful and can’t wait to see what other magic Brittany brings to the organization!

Coach Terry Wilson,

Portrait of Coach Terry drawn by 7 year-old Adrianna

December’s Leader of the Month, is a LEGEND.

Gilford has a legendary Boys varsity tennis program due to their tennis coach…Terry Wilson!  For the last 20 years he has coached, mentored and guided generations of tennis lovers.

We here at AK have reaped the benefit of Terry’s impeccable record and golden touch. In 2019, we have been blessed to have 6 of Terry’s former high school varsity tennis players teach tennis in our free summer programs offered in the Lakes Region. The character and ability of these kids to teach and guide is a testament to Terry’s leadership. Terry knew he had something special going on when he was able to retain players from Freshman year through graduation. He says “If any coach has kids for 4 years they can count themselves lucky.”  

Terry has been fortunate in his 20 years of coaching to have won 7 state championships and runner up 5 times.  Between the years of 2012-2018 his team has won 97 straight matches encompassing 5 state championships. Terry expresses this success quite simply as a “Great great run!”  This type of record doesn’t happen on accident.

When asked what motivates him, Terry’s response was simple.  He enjoys working with kids. Their excitement is his reward.  They are 100% genuine. His strength is in his ability to change and adapt to the children. Young kids show up and are so eager to learn.  

20 years of coaching experience boils down to 3 basic principles according to Terry.  These principles can be applied to more than just tennis. Be safe, learn something and then test your skills.  Terry has found this recipe works to keep his players motivated to learn not only in tennis but also in life.

One thing terry loves about tennis is the underdog can be the hero. The beauty of tennis is that you are putting your #1 player against their #1 player and your #6 player against their #6 player. Your #6 player is as important as your #1 player. They have the chance to win and end up being the superstar.

Terry Wilson has been teaching tennis for Advantage Kids since the inception in 2012 at the town courts or the Laconia Boys and Girls Club.  He has been playing tennis for 25-30 years and coaching the Gilford varsity boys tennis team for 20 years. He became a certified USPTA certified instructor in 2006.  Two of his former students who work for AK are now certified tennis pros or in the process of becoming certified.

Terry has two families…his immediate family and his tennis family.  We would like to thank him for being part of the Advantage Kids family!

Carolyn and Kent Hemingway,

November’s Leaders, are the Dream Team

Huge shout out to Kent and Carolyn Hemingway – the dream team of Advantage Kids!  They have been volunteering their time to teach tennis and enrichment to the Mount Washington Valley with heartfelt dedication.

Their ability to touch the lives of children is undeniable.  Through the Jackson and Cranmore USTA Team Challenges to the Cranmore Indoor Tennis co-op program they have exposed elementary through high school kids locally as well as children from China, South Korea, Spain and Germany.  

To be taught by these former educators is a blessing. Their unique approach of teaching tennis with invaluable life skills positively impacts all.  Jaylnn’s mom from Jackson complimented their program stating “All the coaches were so friendly and patient. My daughter greatly struggles with ADHD. As a mom I was so happy she didn’t stand out. Each station was organized in a way that you learned a new skill and practiced. I loved how inviting and encouraging everyone was.”

Their most recent endeavor is the very rewarding ACEing Autism program at the Laconia Boys and Girls Club.  ACEing Autism is a national nonprofit designed to use the sport of tennis as a means to provide unique social and developmental benefits to children with autism. Visit https://aceingautism.org/ for more information.

Kent & Carolyn are also looking to bring tennis into the SAU 9 and 13 physical education programs with the help of USTA Net Generation.  AK is looking forward to partnering with schools to keep tennis alive in NH!

Although recently retired, Kent & Carolyn are growing tennis with an unwavering dedication.  Thanks from AK and all the children and families you have touched!