Jasmine Mazard-Larry’s high school journey began with adversity as her family faced homelessness after their house was destroyed in a fire. However, four years later, she defied the odds and graduated as the valedictorian of her class, boasting an impressive 8.07 grade point average.
During her valedictory speech at the graduation ceremony for Dr. Kiran C. Patel High School in Tampa, Florida, Mazard-Larry inspired her fellow graduates with powerful words. She urged them to never give up on their dreams, emphasizing that rejection should be viewed as a stepping stone toward perseverance. She also encouraged her peers to not let obstacles or the opinions of others define their true selves.
Mazard-Larry’s personal journey was filled with challenges. Dealing with ADHD and hearing loss, she initially considered these as weaknesses, hesitant to discuss them openly. However, reflecting on her academic path, she realized that these disabilities actually shaped her resilience and determination.
The hurdles Mazard-Larry faced extended beyond her own personal struggles. Four years prior, her family endured the devastating loss of their home in the fire. At the time, her mother, Nidta Mazard, was on the verge of giving birth and suffered severe injuries from the incident. Mazard-Larry’s ability to thrive amidst such adversity became a source of inspiration and strength for her family.
Throughout high school, Mazard-Larry took on Advanced Placement courses, dual enrollment, and the Cambridge Advanced International Certificate of Education program, all of which contributed to her remarkable GPA. In addition to her high school diploma, she also earned an associate’s degree from a local community college.
Marlee Strawn, the principal of Dr. Kiran C. Patel High School, commended Mazard-Larry’s determination and goal-driven mindset. Despite the hardships she faced, she never lost sight of her ambitions.
Beyond academics, Mazard-Larry actively participated in various extracurricular activities, including the student government association, student council, speech and debate team, and art club. Her younger brother served as her motivation, spurring her to become a positive role model for him.
Looking ahead, Mazard-Larry aspires to attend college and pursue a career in medicine. She believes that everyone has their own unique story, and it is the combination of both triumphs and hardships that shape who they become. She encourages her peers to embrace their challenges, as they ultimately contribute to personal growth and future success.