Rachel Jeantel has kept the promise she made to her friend Trayvon Martin. What did she promise the teen before his death? She promised him that she would graduate high school, and she has now accomplished that task. Yahoo News reported on her graduation on May 30.
Rachel Jeantel graduated from a Miami high school on Friday morning, and that high school is only a few short miles from where her friend Martin is buried. Jeantel testified at his murder trial a year ago, and she was the last person to spoke to the teen alive before his death. George Zimmerman was the man put on trial for Trayvon Martin's murder.
To make the graduation even more special, Martin's mother, Sybrina Fulton, attended the high school graduation ceremony on Friday morning. Jeantel said the following in an interview about Martin's mother attending her graduation ceremony: "Her coming is like having Trayvon there saying, ‘You did it. You proved people wrong."
Jeantel was a key witness in the trial of George Zimmerman, but her way of speaking was difficult to understand, and this distracted from her testimony. She speaks a mix of English, Spanish, and Haitian Creole. Her way of speech caused conflict between her and Don West, the attorney for George Zimmerman, while she was on the stand.
The conflict and her being so misunderstood during the trial caused a wave of ridicule of the teen on social media. Rob Vereen was the attorney that tried to prepare Jeantel for her turn on the stand, but he was not privy to what the government planned to do with her on the stand. He feels that the prosecutors "missed an opportunity" with their questioning of Jeantel. She could have been a key witness into the character of Trayvon Martin.
This trial was televised, and it was a big event for summer 2013. George Zimmerman was found not guilty of the charges against him at the end of the trial. During the trial, it was believed that Jeantel and Martin were a couple, but she made it clear that she was just close friends with the teen. The pair had met during second grade. He was "a friend who didn’t judge her plus-size frame or the way she spoke."
How did Rachel Jeantel graduate high school with her speech issues? She had some help. After the trial ended last July, Ron Vereen hired three tutors to work with Rachel. He had some financial assistance from the Tom Joyner Foundation. He also hired several mentors and a psychologist to work with the teenager. In less than a year, Rachel Jeantel has graduated high school. She didn't allow the critics of her testimony bring her down.
Rachel made a promise to her best friend, and she kept her promise. Not many can keep so true to their word, and Rachel had to work hard to get where she is. She deserves every bit of the recognition she is receiving now for this achievement. Benjamin Crump shared a photo of the teen in her cap and gown, according to Global Grind. The smile on both of their faces are clear.
What do you think of Rachel's achievement? Do you remember her testimony? Share your thoughts below.