Meet Our Donors - Henry Barrett ’18
The enthusiasm Henry Barrett ’18 has about his Episcopal experience is contagious. He describes his high school years as “incomparable” — from the access campus provided him to Washington, D.C., to the life-changing bonds he formed with faculty members, to the generous community spirit that defined his EHS years.
“Not everyone gets the opportunity in their high school experience to live next to the nation’s capital,” Barrett remarks. He recalls visiting monuments, museums, and restaurants in Washington, D.C., as highlights of his time at Episcopal. As a student, he was also able to complete an internship with the office of the late Senator John McCain ’54.
His ability to complete this internship was made possible not only through EHS connections but also through the support of faculty members who went above and beyond to help him get a foot in the door and give him a place to stay within commuting distance to Washington over the summer. Barrett also recalls the mentorship of his advisor Vincent Hodge ’89, who did everything from miraculously getting Barrett a graphing calculator before a precalculus test after his went missing to supporting him after his grandmother’s death. “You can’t possibly find that same level of connection without being there, living there in the moment, at school,” according to Barrett.
The fact that his brother followed in his footsteps to EHS was “a foregone conclusion,” Barrett says. The number of doors he felt Episcopal opened for him made the decision easy for his brother and his family. If he could give advice to current EHS students, he would tell them to “latch on to every opportunity that comes your way, and explore new things — try out a new class, sport, or afternoon activity, or get engaged in something totally different in terms of your D.C. experience.”
As a former financial aid recipient, Barrett believes that giving to EHS in order to ensure access to financial aid is crucial to ensure a diversity of backgrounds and opinions at the School. Without robust financial aid, all students’ experiences would suffer. “It’s not just students who are on financial aid who would be at a loss,” Barrett says, “but the students who aren’t on financial aid would really lose a perspective that is the reality of our country and of our world. To be siloed from those realities is not conducive to a healthy, functioning society.”
Barrett believes that it is important for young alumni to show gratitude for their time at Episcopal — whether that’s by staying connected with classmates, volunteering for the School, or giving to the annual fund. “Being able to consciously make a gift,” in honor of your precious EHS memories, he says, “is pretty powerful for inspiring the next generation of Episcopal students.”