Happiness can be found in life’s simplest pleasures – family, good friends and good food!

Posted on November 28, 2018

You’ve seen cheerleaders lift people up in the air, but have you seen them lift people’s spirits? That’s exactly what I experienced when I interviewed this bright, young man. Before I knew what was happening, I was smiling, giggling, full of good cheer and ready to yell for the home team!

Henry the cook

Henry is a 9th grader at Battle Mountain High School this year and wasted no time contributing to his school. He joined the cheerleading squad during football season. When asked why he joined, he said, “Because I like the Huskies” and he said, “I worked hard to be a cheerleader.”

This enthusiastic youth loves to try new things. He skis, swims, rock climbs, sings, runs track, plays video games, performs in theater and he’s learning to play basketball in his gym class. For several years, he has taken part in Kids Adventure Games, an obstacle course race where participants swim, climb, etc. Hanging out with his friend Kaden is another one of his favorite past times, especially when they go see the Colorado Rockies.

Spending time with family is especially important for Henry. When I asked what makes him happy, he said “Mom makes me happy.” Dad (Jim) and Henry love going to the movies and singing. They recently saw Bohemian Rhapsody – and Henry has memorized all the words to Bohemian Rhapsody. He’s very good at memorizing lyrics so I was told by mom (Sandy). Henry enjoys a special relationship with Uncle Bill, who calls him “H-Bomb.” It has something to do with the excitability that Henry displays at times…

What does Henry dream about? He wants to be a businessman like his dad…and he’d like to have a swimming pool installed at his high school. Wouldn’t that be amazing!? Go big or go home, I always say.

Did I mention that Henry cooks? He cooks at home with mom and honed his skills while at Berry Creek Middle School with Ms. Nicole Barth. Cookies, cupcakes, salads, wings, chicken nuggets, pepperoni and pineapple pizza are all favorites – yummy!! Ms. Barth had this to say, “Henry exudes pure joy. He has a personality that lights up the room. He has the ability to make everyone he comes in contact with feel loved and appreciated. He doesn't think twice about going up to someone he doesn't know and say, "Hi, I'm Henry! What's your name?" In a world that sometimes focuses on differences – differences in age, skin color, background; Henry has taught me to celebrate and enjoy the moment!”

What would his friends say about Henry? That he tells funny jokes, that he is a funny singer, that he will make you laugh, and is always happy. I saw evidence of all that and much more. Mom says, “Henry is our amazing gift and we all have lots to learn from him.” She’s right. I learned that smiles are contagious and happiness can be found in life’s simplest pleasures – family, good friends and good food!

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Eagle River Youth Coalition - Making Youth a Community Priority
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