Despite the odds stacked against her, Jasmine Mazard-Larry persevered.
ABC’s “Good Morning America” (“GMA”) reports that the high school teen will graduate at the top of her class, boasting an 8.07 grade point average.
As an academically committed student, Mazard-Larry enrolled in Advanced Placement (AP) courses, dual credit courses, and the Cambridge Advanced International Certificate of Education. She also took interest in the student government association, student council, speech and debate team, and art club.
“She’s really taken the initiative to go above and beyond,” explained Patel High School Principal Marlee Strawn. “She had this goal of being top in her class, and ultimately she met it.”
The fact that Mazard-Larry achieved so much is certainly a testament to her drive, yet her story is not without difficulty. She overcame homelessness after her home was burned down in a fire, which left her father injured. Her mother, Nidta Mazard, was also nine months pregnant at the time.
Even after the tragedy, Mazard-Larry remained the bright light in the family.
“And here Jasmine, in the midst of it all, [started] high school ….,” Mazard told “GMA.” “Her behavior could have changed because of a lot of things that she was already going through.”
She continued: “But instead, she used that as a light to help me because I almost died giving birth to my son.”
“She dealt with a really difficult situation, and … she didn’t allow it to stop her from meeting her goals. I think that’s really remarkable, and she was just very goal-driven from day one,” Principal Strawn also expressed to “GMA.”
In the midst of this, Mazard-Larry also has ADHD and hearing loss. The possibility of her disability impeding some of her goals was on her mind for a moment.
“I was a little embarrassed,” she told “GMA.” “I didn’t really talk about it that much to a lot of people.”
“We all have our own story,” Mazard-Larry said, according to “GMA.” “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.'”