High school valedictorian graduates with 8.07 GPA

Jasmine Mazard-Larry told graduates to not let obstacles get in their way.

When Jasmine Mazard-Larry was starting high school, she and her family were homeless because their house had just burned down.

Four years later, she graduated as the valedictorian of her class with an 8.07 grade point average.

In her valedictory address, Mazard-Larry told her fellow graduates to, “not ever, ever, and I mean ever,” give up on their dreams.

“Rejection doesn’t mean you failed. Rejection means to just be patient. Your time will come,” Mazard-Larry said at the May 13 graduation ceremony for Dr. Kiran C. Patel High School in Tampa, Florida. “Let it be a tool to allow yourself to persevere and to not ever, ever, and I mean ever, give up on your dreams.”

PHOTO: Jasmine Mazard-Larry said her brother, Marlo, is her motivation and she wants to be a role model for him.
Jasmine Mazard-Larry said her brother, Marlo, is her motivation and she wants to be a role model for him.Courtesy Nidta Mazard

She also left her fellow graduates with advice on overcoming obstacles, saying, “Do not let obstacles and what people say define who you truly are.”

Mazard-Larry’s own journey, however, came with many obstacles.

Mazard-Larry, 17, has ADHD and hearing loss, which she said she first thought of as weaknesses.

“I was a little embarrassed,” she told ABC News earlier this month. “I didn’t really talk about it that much to a lot of people.”

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