This is 17-year-old Henry’s sixth summer at EXPLO! He may be shy at home, but at EXPLO he's known around campus as everybody's outgoing and compassionate best friend.

At home, I really am the epitome of a shy kid. But here, I have a completely outgoing alter-ego. This place allows me to be free and allows me to make friends that I wouldn’t feel comfortable making otherwise; here, I’m not scared to talk to anybody. I have complete faith that people aren’t going to treat me differently because of who I am. 

One of my true passions in life is dancing. At my school, we have a weekly community meeting that has a talent portion to it. Plenty of people sign up, but I’ve never been able to bring myself to do it. I’m way too scared.

But here at EXPLO, I sign up for the talent show every single year, without fail. I’m always nervous because I know that I’m not the best dancer. But here, there’s never the thought about what would happen if I don’t do well. Last year, the entire audience gave me a standing ovation. It felt absolutely amazing.

If I could give any advice to the people reading my story, I would tell them to be kind and be caring. Because if life could be like the EXPLO community, it would be an incredible place.