Rachel Jeantel may be best known for her testimony at the trial of George Zimmerman, but Friday she was known as something else: a high school graduate.
The graduation not only included Jeantel's family, but Trayvon Martin's mother as well. In an interview with Yahoo News, Jeantel explained that “her coming is like having Trayvon there saying, ‘You did it. You proved people wrong.’”
The trial was traumatic for Jeantel. Civil rights attorney Rod Vereen said “They called her everything except the child of God. Of course she was frustrated. It was like stepping into an arena, and you don’t know the rules.”
But in the words of Jeantel: “I did it. The witness who didn’t know how to speak English knows how to speak English through the 12th grade now. I never quit.” Excited about her future, Jeantel took to Twitter to express her happiness:
Class of 2014 .......back to business
— Ms.Rachel Jeantel (@MsRachel_94) May 31, 2014
Jeantel will be moving onto big things after high school. Last year, radio host Tom Joyner offered her tutoring and a full ride to the historic black college or university of her choice. “We talked to her people today and it’s going to take some work, first of all to get her a high school diploma, and get her ready for the SAT test, and then entered into college. But we are going to do that,” he said. “She deserves a chance.”
George Zimmerman's trial last year was well documented by the media, including Jeantel's testimony. Some in media called her "dumb". Some on Twitter responded back by calling her brave. “You got to understand, you the last person to talk to the person and he died on the phone after you talked to him — you got to understand what I’m trying to tell you,” she said during her testimony. “I’m the last person, you don’t know how it felt. You think I really want to go see the body after I just talked to him?”
Image via YouTube.