Jahvaris Fulton has a great opportunity on his hands. The older brother of Trayvon Martin is currently serving as a congressional intern for Florida Representative Frederica Wilson. Her office confirmed the news to NBC. Fulton, according to his Twitter page, attends Florida International University in Miami, FL.
Wilson’s office also said that Fulton is a part of the 5000 Roll Models of Excellence Project. The project, founded by Wilson 20 years ago, is a drop out prevention and mentoring program that serves the needs of at-risk boys in Miami-Dade schools. Good look to the young Mr. Fulton. It would be great if both he and Rachel Jeantel ended up working in law enforcement, hopefully fighting the injustices that were so evident in his brother’s case.
This week, radio host and philanthropist Tom Joyner (pictured) appeared on Piers Morgan Live to explain why he felt moved to offer friend and star witness in the George Zimmerman trial Rachel Jeantel (pictured below) a free college education at any Historically Black College or University (HBCU) of her choosing. According to Joyner, both the media’s and lawyer’s treatment of Jeantel inspired him to make a lasting impact on her her future. (Video of Jeantel accepting offer below.)
For Joyner, seeing the barrage of criticism Jeantel received while she was on the stand disturbed him,“Well, it all started of course at the trial. And when she testified, the reaction to her testimony was very troubling to me. 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.”
Still, Joyner didn’t get the idea to offer her a college scholarship until she appeared on the “Piers Morgan Live” show Monday night, “And then last night when I saw her on your show, you did a follow-up question that [asked her] what do you want to do in life.
“That’s when the light bulb went off. I said I want to help her. We have a foundation that helps students in historically black colleges and universities. The Tom Joyner Foundation has been around since ’98 and since then, we’ve donated and raised more than $65 million to that end.”
To Joyner, seeing Jeantel being still in high school at the age of 19 and struggling with the tragic death of friend Trayvon made him come to one conclusion: “She deserves a chance. All this criticism about, you know, how the system has failed her or she’s failed the system. She’s 19 years old and she’s a senior in high school. Right, OK. So in the past year-and-a-half her life has been turned upside down. She’s been back and forth with depositions and appointments and everything, plus sad about her best friend being killed. So her senior year is all a wreck.”
When Piers Morgan asked Joyner whether he thinks Jeantel will manage in college, Joyner responded that he and his team are willing to do the work to get her ready, “It’s going to take some work, first of all, to get her high school diploma and get her ready for the SAT test … and then entered in to college. But we are going to do that…I told her she can go to any historically black college she wants to.”
Throughout the Trayvon Martin case, Rachel Jeantel‘s testimony was riveting and difficult to watch for many reasons, including defense attorney Don West’s obvious frustration with her and condescension toward her. Jeantel was the last person to speak to Trayvon Martin before being killed by George Zimmerman who was found not guilty on July 13. Jeantel was deemed by the defense and the media as an implausible source due to her ‘lack of education.’ The 19-year-old was berated by many due to her speech, appearance and mannerisms. Fortunately her testimony and recent appearance on CNN’s “Piers Morgan Tonight,” influenced Tom Joyner to lend a helping hand.
Joyner reached out to Jeantel and offered her a full scholarship to any HBCU of her choice. In addition to assisting the young teen with college, he also wants to help her complete high school with the best tutors and SAT courses. Jeantel hopes to pursue a career in law enforcement.