Barry Frederick ’22 knew he wanted to go to college. During high school in Cameron, North Carolina, he researched his options, paying close attention to U.S. News & World Report rankings, among other factors.
“Carolina was the best value overall,” he said. “Price was a major factor in my coming here, because although my family would love to help, they are not in a position to help.”
Barry was born at Ft. Benning, Georgia, where his father was stationed at the time. His parents split when he was a toddler. He and his mom moved to Cameron to be closer to his family.
While still in high school, Barry realized he had a passion for political science, policy and related topics. He researched summer programs for high school students and found one at Georgetown University focusing on international relations. He applied, got in and received a scholarship that covered half of the tuition. His father agreed to pay the balance.
“I always had an interest in history and international relations,” he said. “During the program, in addition to classwork, we took trips around Washington, D.C., to places that were tied to what we were learning. We visited a few embassies and the European Union delegation. I enjoyed seeing some of what D.C. has to offer.”
When it came to selecting a university, though, Barry knew he had to find somewhere closer to home. His father declined to share his G.I. benefits with Barry, and Barry accepted that. It clarified his process and his decision.
“My focus shifted from ‘how am I getting there?’ to finding and applying for aid,” Barry said. “I’ve never wanted to depend that much on others, so in asking for help, I feel nervous, anxious about it because I’m not used to it. I won’t ask for help unless it’s my last resort. I’m trying to switch that, because I know people want to help and sometime it’s people’s jobs to help.”
He learned he was admitted to Carolina and that he would receive the Carolina Covenant Scholarship. Later, he found out that because of his father’s military service, he would become one of the first Vetter Military Family Scholars.
“I’m grateful that I got help from the Vetter Scholarship, even though my father and I don’t have a strong connection,” Barry said. “There isn’t just one kind of military family, and I’m hoping that others can relate to that.”
Still in his first semester at Carolina, Barry is a member of the color guard in the Marching Tar Heels. He’s exploring all that the University has to offer, and honing his academic choices. “I would like to work in political science or policy,” he said. “I’m still figuring it out.”
Barry was named as a Vetter Military Family Scholar in Fall 2018 and is supported by the Red, White and Carolina Blue Challenge.