Rachel Jeantel was thrust in the national spotlight last June when she took the stand in the George Zimmerman trial as the prosecution’s supposed ‘star witness’.
Instead, Jentel quickly became a target for public ridicule due to her demeanor in court and the fact she was outed as illiterate on national TV.
In the months since then Jeantel has worked hard to turn her life around and in doing so keep a promise she had made to Martin to graduate high school.
At the time of last June’s trial, Jeantel had a fourth-grade reading level.
The child of immigrant parents, Jeantel speaks Haitian Creole, Spanish and English, but at times the court reporter and jurors struggled to decipher her dialect and street slang.
Her speech on the stand often detracted from her testimony, as the then 19-year-old used terms such as ‘creepy’ and ‘cracker’ to describe Zimmerman, whom she said was aggressively following Martin before their phone call was silenced during the scuffle.