A Tale of Two Henrys

BYU OHS students

BYU Online High School’s unique student body includes students from all over the world. It’s not unusual for someone in your English class to be from Indonesia or someone in your history class to be from Canada. It’s not even unusual to have two students with the same name in one  class, but it is unusual for them to be cousins!  

This is a tale of two such students. Meet two students named Henry, cousins living oceans apart who are both BYU OHS students. Henry L. is an Arkansas farm boy and Henry J. is a world traveler whose father works for the U.S. State Department. You might not think they have much in common other than a shared set of grandparents and the same name, but you’d be wrong!  

“We’re pretty close,” says Henry J., whose family comes home to Arkansas between foreign assignments. “I move around a lot, and so ever since we were little, we’ve been doing things together. He [Henry L.] is like the only one who’s been there the whole time.”  

When these two young men get together, they spend a lot of time spent outside on the farm—a real farm with horses, cows, chickens, and “a big red barn and everything.” What do they like to do together? World-traveler Henry says, “We ride four-wheelers and walk and hike and climb trees, catch crawdads, go fishing, ride horses, throw knives, and shoot BB guns and rifles.”  

And for most of the year they take BYU OHS classes, of course! Online high school has been a great fit for both of them. Henry L., who has been home-schooled his entire life, discovered BYU OHS first and then shared the news with his cousin, who was living in Argentina at the time.  

Because his father works for the State Department, Henry J.’s family moves frequently and has lived all over the world: New York, Virginia, the Philippines, Singapore, Argentina, and this fall, they’ll be moving to Nepal. Without BYU OHS, he’d be attending different schools all the time.  

“Enrolling seemed like the best option for school with the COVID restrictions and the fact that I didn’t have many good options [in Argentina]. I really like the fact that students get to interact and work together more than what I’ve previously experienced with online school and homeschool, and I also really like the teachers and being able to reach out and work with them.” 

Why is BYU OHS such a good fit for someone who travels and lives abroad? “BYU Online High School has been really good for me because it’s really flexible, but not so much that I don’t have an organized plan. I’ve done various online school and in-person school programs before, so I’ve learned just to adapt. But BYU OHS has done better [at] keeping me active and involved than other programs I’ve done where I pretty much read a book and answered questions about it the whole year.”

Henrys as small boys Henrys as young men

Henry L. likes it, too. “The thing I like most about it is that I am able to make my own schedule and work at my own speed. My cousin and I take all the same classes—English, algebra, history, science, and fitness. Our electives can be different if we choose different ones . . . but we [can] view each other’s work and give presentations to each other. It’s pretty nice, because I might do something before him, or he might do something before me, and we can give each other advice on what to expect.” 

What kind of advice would the two Henrys give to someone who is considering enrolling in BYU Online High School? World-traveler Henry says, “I would tell other kids that BYU OHS is a quality school and not to be put off because it’s online. You will have to make your own schedule for studying and whatever else you do—and then keep it or you’ll get behind—but that isn’t too hard with BYU Online, and teachers are always there to help you.” 

Henry L. adds, “BYU OHS has really helped me academically and has helped me to be better organized with my time.” Would he encourage other kids to give it a try? “I would. Though I would also encourage them to practice more with using a computer, because let me tell you, it is not fun sitting down for thirty minutes trying to figure out how to double-space a document or how to save one. Which probably is no problem for most kids, but living on a farm in Arkansas my whole life, I have never really used a computer, so it was a little difficult for me.” 

Two Henrys from very different backgrounds—but who both find BYU Online High School to be the perfect fit for them—make for a tale of two success stories!  

How about you? Has BYU OHS been a good fit for you? Email us at byuohsblog@byu.edu. We’d love to read your story! Or if you’d like to ask questions, email us at highschool@byu.edu, visit our home page or call 1-800-914-8931.  

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