As our nation recognizes National School Choice Week Jan. 21-27, I am reminded of the crucial role that school choice plays for me and my family.

Thanks to Maine Virtual Academy, a tuition-free online public school, I am able to compete all over the country as a nationally ranked tennis player.

Currently, I am ranked No. 1 in Maine and in New England. Nationally, I am ranked No. 30, in the 16s, and also ranked No. 55 nationally, in the 18s. Recently I placed third in doubles at the Winter National Championship in Orlando, Florida, a great accomplishment for a New Englander with the tough competition in the Sunshine State.

With the demanding travel schedule associated with tennis, I’m able to continue my education through Maine Virtual Academy’s online program. With the personalized learning model, I can dedicate time to tennis during the day and work on my studies in the mornings and evenings. When I’m traveling for a tournament, school can come with me. My teachers are supportive and understanding of my travel and training schedule.

Even though I am 16 years old, I have already been in contact with many Division 1 colleges from all over the country and Ivy League schools.

Without my family’s ability to select a school that suits my unique schedule, I may not have had the opportunity to play tennis at this level, much less become the top player in New England.

Lana Mavor