Jennifer Henry – Making and Preserving Memories

Scrapbooking is a way to preserve and document not just life’s milestones but also the more mundane, but still important, everyday events that some might take for granted. And for someone with as many balls in the air as Jennifer Henry, these journals provide a perfect vehicle for documenting her family and extended family’s lives. Although it’s a hobby that provides her with a creative outlet, being able to slow down long enough to put the albums together is a challenge all its own.  

But she eagerly embraces the myriad demands on her time.  

There is, of course, her thriving litigation practice. A member of the Mustang Band when she was an undergraduate at Southern Methodist University, she now serves on the Diamond M Club Board and still occasionally plays the trombone in the alumni band during basketball season. And as the mother of two daughters — a teen and a tween — she has to juggle their school activities. 

Oh, wait — make that the mother to sometimes three daughters, one of which may only speak English as a second (or third) language and is certainly not adept to life in Dallas.  

Almost each year since 2017, the Henry clan has eagerly welcomed a foreign exchange student into the family. Over the years, there have been students from Spain, Germany, Switzerland and Italy, all of whom have become extended members of the Henry family (and have been gifted with a personalized scrapbook documenting their time in Texas). 

Jennifer’s interest in becoming a host herself was piqued by a childhood friend who happened to be a local coordinator for student exchange agency. Familiar with the program from her childhood when her grandparents hosted two “high school boys with cool accents,” she couldn’t shake the impulse to learn more. 

She presented the idea to her husband, who, like Jennifer, is always ready for the next big adventure. She didn’t have to wait long for his enthusiastic agreement, and not even the extensive application and background check could curb their excitement.  In fact, not only has the entire family become zealous advocates for the benefits of hosting exchange students, but her husband is now also a local program coordinator.  

Playing host to adventuresome young students has also provided the family with additional reason to indulge in one of its favorite pastimes: travel.  

In their quest to give the students as much exposure as possible to the United States, the Henrys have gone whitewater rafting in Colorado, have visited Jennifer’s home state of Kansas to see family (as well as the world’s largest ball of twine) and have taken a poignant tour of the National WWII Museum in New Orleans, not to mention side trips to Disney World and the San Diego Zoo while accompanying their elder daughter to baton-twirling competitions.    

It also has helped open their eyes to what Dallas has to offer. Always looking for new ways to explore the region, they have become a hometown tourist bureau of sorts, eager to learn about new and interesting sites and activities. Putting all that knowledge to good use, one year, they created their own North Texas version of The Amazing Race as a grand send-off event for one of their students at the end of her exchange year.  

The cultural enrichment has not been one-sided. They have developed close bonds with each of their visiting students — and by extension, with their families — and the hosting role has been flipped three times already, with the former students welcoming the Henrys to their home countries for extended visits, confirming that the memories, as well as relationships, Jennifer is creating will last forever — especially if she can find the time to record them all in her scrapbooks.  

Read Jennifer’s full bio