Rachel Jeantel, a former close friend of Trayvon Martin, recently graduated high school, keeping her vow to the slain teen that she would one day finish her studies in his memory. A photo of Jeantel in her graduation cap and gown went viral on the Internet this week after she proved to herself, to others, and to Trayvon’s memory that she would indeed earn her high school diploma. The Inquisitr shares this Saturday, May 31, 2014, the updated story behind this young woman’s efforts to finish her classes despite struggling in English and facing other challenges.
Following the death of Trayvon Martin and amidst the nationally covered George Zimmerman trial, Rachel Jeantel became a very public figure after taking part in the court proceedings as a witness. The teenage girl has made the news once again this week, but for a much happier occasion; she successfully graduated from high school, posing proudly in the Miami auditorium via a Twitter photo with a loved one to show she kept her vow to her friend. In the process, she effectively showed the world that she could overcome not only her hard time with English, but the trauma that the sudden death of her good friend caused her as well.
The primary reason contributing to Jeantel’s known issue with the English language is that the U.S. tongue is not, in fact, her only native language. Rachel is actually the daughter of two immigrant parents, and she therefore spoke Haitian Creole and Spanish regularly as well. The teen girl’s frequent utilization of slang and unusual dialect caused her to be looked down upon by some, online critics argued, during her testimony as an important witness in the George Zimmerman trial over the killing of Trayvon Martin.
UPI News even notes that during one key portion of the trial, lead defense attorney Don West proceeded to ask the 19-year-old girl (at the time) if she could even understand the English language and what he was saying.
"I don't understand you. I do understand English," his witness rejoined right back.
According to the official media release, Jeantel was only at 2nd or 3rd grade level in both her mathematics and reading courses, even though she was technically placed as a senior student in high school. As such, civil rights attorney Rod Vereen soon decided that it was time the former friend of Trayvon Martin received proper tutoring lessons to keep her English language and computation skills up to snuff.
That is why, following Rachel Jeantel’s recent graduation, she was all smiles and well-deserved pride.
"I did it," Jeantel exclaimed of her high school graduation accomplishment. "The witness who didn't know how to speak English knows how to speak English through the 12th grade now. I never quit."
Trayvon Martin’s mother was also at the graduation ceremony to support the close friend of her slain son. It was likely she too was proud and moved by her accomplishment, believing she truly did keep her vow and prove all those doubters she could do it. The young woman agreed wholeheartedly.
"Her coming is like having Trayvon there saying, 'You did it. You proved people wrong,’” concluded Jeantel.