Manely Firm - January 2020

E xpand Y our F amily ’ s H orizons By Opening Your Home to an Exchange Student

Hosting an exchange student in your home may not be something you’ve considered before, but there are many reasons why adding an international member to your family is great for everyone involved. D evelop U nderstanding One of the most valuable traits we can learn is to be understanding of others. Learning about other countries and cultures offers an opportunity to be more receptive to the idea that, no matter how far apart people live or how much the languages we speak differ, at our core, we have a lot in common. Navigating life with this open mindset has far-reaching value that your entire family will benefit from. C ultivate F riendship Welcoming a new member into your home paves the way for new friendships to blossom. Even though the duration

may often feel short, the friendships developed during an exchange are strong, and it’s not uncommon for host families and students to keep in touch for years after they’ve parted ways. Having friends in different parts of the world is also convenient when it comes to travel — you might get lucky enough to have a nice place to stay when you’re in their neck of the woods! B roaden H orizons It’s not just your family that will reap the benefits of opening your home to an exchange student; the student has much to gain as well. They’ll immerse themselves in your culture and get to see how your community lives harmoniously together. You’ll play an important role in showing them what life is like in your backyard while gleaning important perspectives on what life is like in theirs.

D enethris B arnes Discover ing Where She Belongs

Ever since she was a child, Denethris Barnes wanted to become an attorney. She used to go around the house telling everyone she would one day be an attorney, and sure enough, her path led directly here. Denethris had many moments in her life where she realized she wanted to help people get the representation they deserve. Growing up, she had a few family members who ended up on the opposite side of the justice system. “I think watching that impacted me,” Denethris says. “It made me want to do something different and not just be on the right side of the law, but help people too.” However, as her path led her closer to becoming an attorney, she encountered her share of obstacles. While in college, Denethris was involved in a bad car accident that forced her out of school for a year and six months. “During that time, I started to contemplate whether or not being a lawyer was something I wanted to do. The tragedy of that accident made me second guess everything.” As she recovered, she pursued her love of painting and graphic design, but realized that her heart was still set on becoming an attorney.

In law school, Denethris took a family law class taught by professor David Purvis. “I fell in love with the subject, and he was such a wonderful person. I felt like I had to know more.” During one class, Michael came to the school as a guest speaker, and this solidified Denethris’ choice. “I knew that The Manely Firm was where I wanted to be, and now, here I am. It’s been really amazing.” The true pull she felt in this field was the opportunity to help children. “I think that’s what truly led me down the family law path,” she says. “I have a big soft spot in my heart for kids. If there’s anything I can do for them, I absolutely will.” Although Denethris didn’t follow a career path in painting or graphic design, she still enjoys the activity today. In her free time she’ll sit down and paint beautiful paintings, and at times, she’ll paint side-by- side with her son, Joshua. We’re very humbled and pleased that Denethris has found a place within our team to thrive. All of us at The Manely Firm look forward to another wonderful year with such a dedicated attorney.


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