Rachel Jeantel made good on a promise she made long ago to her friend Trayvon Martin: she graduated from high school. Jeantel went through the wringer after her time on the stand in the trial against George Zimmerman, but as Global Grind shared on Saturday, she has persevered.
Just about a year ago, Rachel Jeantel was on the stand discussing her phone call with Trayvon Martin that occurred as his conflict with George Zimmerman began. At the time, many raked her over the coals seeing her as unintelligent and hostile. Jeantel, 20, is the child of Haitian immigrants. She speaks English, Spanish and Haitian Creole, but her inability to read cursive or understand the prosecutor at times led to relentless mocking on social media.
Rod Vereen, a Miami attorney who stepped in to help her before the Zimmerman trial, stuck by her side once the trial was over. Yahoo! News reports that he put together a team that included a psychologist, three tutors and other mentors to help Rachel. Though she was heading into her senior year, she was dramatically behind in most academic areas.
Though it was a difficult road, Jeantel says she never quit and she received her diploma over the weekend. Trayvon Martin's mother, Sybrina Fulton, and the family's attorney Benjamin Crump were there to cheer her on. What comes next? She says that this “is just the beginning of my life,” and she will continue to work on strengthening her academics. She hopes to enroll in college and Rachel Jeantel has her sights set on becoming a clothing designer.