Cookin', Critters and Chillun

Some extra-special graduates’ success stories

There are three extra-special success stories for three Glenvar High School students who will graduate Friday.
Ron, Brianna and Brittney Carpenter were all in the foster care system for more than five years before they came to live with their adoptive parents, Vanessa and Tom Carpenter.

Now they’re all graduating with honors from Glenvar.

Carpenter kids Brittney, Ron and Brianna receive their gold cords signifying they are honor graduates who made excellent grades, and certificates of honor at Glenvar High School.
Carpenter kids Brittney, Ron and Brianna receive their gold cords signifying they are honor graduates who made excellent grades, and certificates of honor at Glenvar High School.
You might recognize the name of Carpenter from the mission she and her family run from their Glenvar-area home. Angel Missions Haiti which brings Haitian children to live temporarily with foster families in the United States for much-needed medical care before returning them home.

The Carpenters’ goal is to have a fully staffed clinic and trained nurses and doctors in Haiti so the children don’t have to be uprooted.

But these three Carpenter children are their own story. They are from Virginia and Chicago and came from different backgrounds before they became Carpenter kids.

Here are their stories, as their mom relays them:

• Ron is graduating with double honors from both Glenvar and the Burton Center for Arts and Technology’s Criminal Justice program. He was also in the ROTC at William Byrd High School. He plans on attending Virginia Western Community College in the fall to continue his education in Criminal Justice before going off to join the military.

• Brianna is graduating with honors from Glenvar and Burton’s School for the Performing Arts. She has been accepted at the American Music, Drama Academy in New York on Broadway and is excited to be chosen as one of the very few across the nation to get into AMDA, her mom says. She will be working towards her degree in Theater, Drama and Teaching.

• Brittney is graduating with honors from Glenvar and will be attending Virginia Western in the fall for journalism. She had her first poem published when she was 16. “She loves writing and hopes to become a journalist,” her mom says.

Next year, the Carpenters will have four kids in college. They are looking for scholarship money to help them out. Any organization or individual interested in helping can contact Vanessa Carpenter at 580-9721.

Without a loving home, structure and support from their teachers and others in the community, these three might now have made it this far.

As Vanessa Carpenter says, “I find it amazing that so many children in the foster care system are written off and never find loving homes. These three are a testimony of what hard work dedication and love can do for a child – every child.”

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