Jasmine Mazard-Larry and her family were homeless when she started high school because their house had burned down.
She graduated from Dr. Kiran C. Patel High School in Tampa Bay, Florida, four years later as valedictorian of her class with an 8.07-grade point average.
“I think going through all of this … has led me to want to persevere and want to show little girls or boys my age that they can do it too,” Mazard-Larry told GMA.
Mazard-Larry also navigated high school with ADHD and hearing loss, both of which she initially saw as flaws.
“I was a little embarrassed, and I didn’t really talk about it to a lot of people,” Mazard-Larry admitted to ABC News. “They weren’t setbacks; they made me who I am today.”
Mazard-Larry not only received her diploma but also an associate’s degree from a community college.
Principal Marlee Strawn spoke about her star student’s success. “She’s really taken the initiative to go above and beyond,” Strawn said. “She set out to be the best in her class, and she succeeded.”
She participated in several extracurricular activities during high school, including the student government association, student council, speech and debate team, and art club, while maintaining a GPA of more than 8.00 and earning an associate’s degree.
Mazard-Larry stated that she intends to attend college and pursue a career as a doctor.