Lyric McHenry (1992-2018)

Hometown – Santa Monica, CA
Undergrad – Stanford University, BA, Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity

One definition of the word lyric reads “having the form and musical quality of a song.” Lyric McHenry’s life is a very eclectic song. She loves hip-hop, especially Lupe Fiasco; however her iPod is also filled with the Alternative Rufus Wainwright. Her best and truest friends are the people who she seemingly has the least in common with. Her family is divided due to divorce: one side is overwhelmingly large such that Lyric meets new relatives frequently, while the other operates on a much smaller scale, yet still contains the same resilient love and support. Everything from her music to her interests to her family life is different, but somehow ends up being perfectly harmonious.

When Lyric was twelve years old she competed in her first Speech and Debate Tournament having minimal experience and training. However, at the end of the day, Lyric was named First Place Speaker of the entire tournament. Since then, Lyric could not pull herself away from her interest in leadership, politics and social justice. She took her passion beyond school when she decided to spend her summer before junior year interning at the Obama for America Southern California, where she planned and worked on numerous fundraisers in Los Angeles, which raised the most money for the campaign of any city in California. Lyric, at only 15 years old, worked for the campaign throughout her summer and until November 4th with adults and college students. That summer, was not only a seminal moment for America, but also marked the most inspiring and meaningful experiences in Lyric’s life.

Lyric is consistently an Honor Roll and Head of School’s List student and strives to pursue her academia with intellectual vitality and curiosity rather than with the pursuit of a high grade. She is an extremely passionate History and English student with interests varying from Russian novelist Leo Tolstoy to South African writer J.M. Coetzee. During her junior year, Lyric founded the Young Democrats Club, a vehicle for all students to get involved in the political sphere. She has been active in the dramatic arts since her youth having participated in many theater productions. However, perhaps most illustrative of her passion and talent was her selection to join the Drama Ensemble, the school’s elite drama group.

Beyond her various artistic, athletic and academic achievements lies a unique brand of leadership often fueled by her deep passion for social justice and desire to improve society. Since the age of eleven she has worked for the non-profit organization Artists For A New South Africa, helping to improve post-apartheid South African society through combating HIV/AIDS and empowering South African youth.

As a young person, one of Lyric’s chief concerns is the lack of motivation among youth to involve themselves in their communities and the broader national and global communities. It is through her own interest and pursuit of social justice that she hopes to motivate her peers to empower themselves through creating change, despite their age.