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Rachel Jeantel: Tom Joyner Scholarship Offer Accepted by Trayvon Friend

Image: Rachel Jeantel: Tom Joyner Scholarship Offer Accepted by Trayvon Friend

Thursday, 18 Jul 2013 01:51 PM

By Alexandra Ward

Rachel Jeantel, the woman who was on the phone with Trayvon Martin when the confrontation with George Zimmerman began, accepted radio host Tom Joyner's college scholarship offer Thursday.

"I will. I'm blessed and I just want to thank him," she said during an appearance on HLN's "Nancy Grace."

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As a witness for the prosecution in Zimmerman's murder trial, Jeantel, 19, stirred up controversy on the stand with her dress, her speech, and her combative manner. Her slang terms and heavy accent drew a lot of criticism from the public.

"I didn't think [her testimony] was very credible, but I felt very sorry for her," Juror B37, one of the six women on the jury, told Anderson Cooper Monday. "I think she felt inadequate toward everyone because of her education and her communications skills."

Joyner said Jeantel first piqued his interest when she testified.

"When she testified, the reaction to her testimony was very troubling to me," Joyner told News One. "People were criticizing her and her education and communication skills. The way the lawyer was just beating her up on the stand just really moved me."

Jeantel began to make the media rounds this week after Zimmerman was acquitted of all charges in the fatal shooting of 17-year-old Martin Saturday. When she appeared on Joyner's radio show Tuesday, he offered her a full ride to any historically black college or university.

"You stand a better chance at success if you have a college education. If you go to a historically black college, you stand a better chance of being successful because at an HBCU you're not just a number, you're family. And when you're expected to succeed, most likely you will," Joyner said.

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Related stories:

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Race, Profiling Distract From Trayvon Trial  

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