Jasmine Mazard-Larry Is A High School Valedictorian Who Overcome Homelessness With An 8.07 GPA

“Rejection doesn’t mean you failed. Rejection means to just be patient. Your time will come.“

These are the words of advice that Jasmine Mazard-Larry shared with her classmates during her valedictory address, an honor she received courtesy of her 8.07 GPA. ABC News spoke to the recent high school graduate and her family about the struggles she endured.

Just four years earlier, before the high GPA, Mazard-Larry and her family were homeless from a house fire. Her mother was nine months pregnant with her baby brother at the time and her father became severely injured from the incident.

Not long after the fire took her home away, Mazard-Larry began to attend Dr. Kiran C. Patel High School in Tampa, Florida. Despite her traumatic experience, the now-17-year-old managed to thrive in her new environment, even taking Advanced Placement and dual enrollment courses. Mazard-Larry also joined the Cambridge Advanced International Certificate of Education program, all of which helped boost her GPA.

Her journey was not easy, however. On top of her experiencing homelessness during her first two years in high school, Mazard-Larry has ADHD and suffers from hearing loss, two things she initially viewed as weaknesses. In an interview with ABC News on April 30, she said, “I was a little embarrassed. I didn’t really talk about it that much to a lot of people.”

Still, according to her mother, Nidta Mazarin, she remained a light in her life.

“Her behavior could have changed because of a lot of things that she was already going through, but instead, she used that as a light to help me because I almost died giving birth to my son,” she told ABC News.

“She’s been my light. She’s been my rock,” Mazard continued.

“I just love her so much because she’s inspired me to be a better mother and a better person.”

Mazard-Larry’s mother isn’t the only one who had glowing things to say about her and her GPA. Marlee Strawn, the principal of Dr. Kiran C. Patel High School also discussed Mazard-Larry’s drive and commitment.

“She had this goal of being top in her class, and ultimately she met it. She dealt with a really difficult situation, and … she didn’t allow it to stop her from meeting her goals,” says Strawn, according to Good Morning America.

Mazard-Larry’s next goal is to attend college and become a doctor. She wants to remain a good role model for her younger brother, who she says is her motivation.

“There’s the good and the bad, but don’t overlook the bad because it makes you who you are,” she says to ABC News. “In 20 [or] 10 years from now, you’re going to look back and be like, ‘I did that.”

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