Former Homeless Black Teen To Graduate As High School Valedictorian

Photo: Getty Images

A 17-year-old teen whose family was homeless at the start of high school is set to graduate as the valedictorian of her class.

Jasmine Mazard-Larry, a student at Dr. Kiran C. Patel High School in Tampa, will receive her diploma next week, boasting an 8.07 GPA, Good Morning America reports.

It was just four years ago that the valedictorian and her family were left without a home after their house burned down.

However, Mazard-Larry overcame the setback and enrolled in Advanced Placement and dual enrollment classes at her high school, which helped boost her GPA.

"I think going through all of this … has led me to want to persevere and want to show little girls or boys my age that they can do it too," Mazard-Larry told GMA.

Before walking her high school graduation stage, Mazard-Larry will also receive an associate's degree from a local community college.

"She's really taken the initiative to go above and beyond," said Patel High School Principal Marlee Strawn. "She had this goal of being top in her class, and ultimately she met it."

Along with being homeless, Mazard-Larry navigated high school with ADHD and hearing loss, circumstances she initially viewed as weaknesses.

"I was a little embarrassed," she said. "I didn't really talk about it that much to a lot of people."

However, Mazard-Larry said she now realizes that her disabilities helped her learn perseverance and resilience.

"They're not setbacks," she said. "They allowed me to be who I am today."

Mazard-Larry said she plans to attend college with the hopes of becoming a doctor.

"We all have our own story," the teen said. "There's the good and the bad. But don't overlook the bad because it makes you who you are. In 20 [or] 10 years from now, you're going to look back and be like, 'I did that. I conquered all of these obstacles, and here I am today.'"

The Black Information Network is your source for Black News! Get the latest news 24/7 on The Black Information Network. Listen now on the iHeartRadio app or click HERE to tune in live.

Sponsored Content

Sponsored Content