Snapshot of a West Potomac Graduate

Snapshot of a West Potomac Graduate

Antwane Minter had lived in Mount Vernon since the sixth grade. But in December his father was transferred from Andrews Air Force Base to Macpherson, a base outside Atlanta.

For Antwane and his twin brother Antony, the decision was easy. “As soon we knew our parents were leaving we both knew we wanted to stay,” said Antwane. “All we had to do was find someone to stay with and parents who were cool with it.” Minter’s friend, George Johnson, offered him a place to stay, and George’s parents, Nancy and George agreed.

Antwane said he struggled at the beginning, but the stress eased as he grew accustomed to the situation. He was able to see his family twice between the end of December and his June graduation. He went to Atlanta for Spring Break, and his mother returned to Mount Vernon to visit him and his brother to celebrate their birthdays and her own, which are only a day apart.

Though those visits were rejuvenating, Antwane said it was still a test “going through a lot of high school stuff without them, like college applications. They couldn’t come down for prom.”

ANTWANE gave one reason for choosing to part from his parents sooner than most teenagers must, “so I could graduate with my friends.”

On June 15, Minter graduated with 407 of them. Then his parents whisked him away to Atlanta.

“I’m really thankful that me and my brother had our friends and their families to stay with,” Minter said.

Minter said the hardest aspect of the separation was his parents’ absence at his track and field events, which they never used to miss. A talented sprinter and jumper, Minter received an athletic scholarship to Lincoln College in Illinois. But he is now considering competing for Clark University in Atlanta instead.

His parents want him a little closer to home.