Hometown: Palm Beach and Shelburne, Vermont
Community Foundation Connection: Heather served on the Board of Directors from 1983-1985 and on the Advisory Council Committee and Scholarship Committee from 1991 to the mid-2000s
Community Foundation Fund: Heather and Patrick Henry Scholarship Fund
For the Henrys, education is the foundation to succeeding through life’s trials and tribulations. But college is the keystone that advances true transformation.
“Education has always been important to us, and not everyone has the opportunity to succeed even if they have the ability,” said Patrick. “We like to help where we can and take pleasure in opening doors for others.”
Heather was recruited to volunteer with the Board at the behest of the Foundation’s founders, Winsome and Michael McIntosh. The Henrys and McIntoshes became friends when their young children attended Palm Beach Day School together in the late 1970s. Her favorite role at the Community Foundation was serving on the Scholarship Committee, where she would review applications and interview prospective scholars in person.
She remembers having a soft spot for late bloomers — the students who didn’t always have straight As, but were smart and motivated.
“Some students are early superstars — others need time and a chance to get on the path to success,” said Heather. “The scholarship is that chance. The gift of a good education prepares them, forms them for a life ahead. To me, that’s the most powerful way to help someone.”
Inspired by Heather’s experiences, Patrick suggested starting their own scholarship fund with the Foundation, designed to be broad in its requirements — a lifeline for late bloomers. To date, 25 promising students have transformed their lives thanks to Henry Scholarships.
“The growth over the years of the Community Foundation has more than fulfilled its founders’ dreams,” said Heather. “For those of us involved in its early years, we’re happy to be a part of something that has become an essential resource to so many of our area’s residents.”