Radio personality Tom Joyner invited George Zimmerman trial witness Rachel Jeantel to his morning radio show on Tuesday — and greeted her with a big surprise.
“Here’s my offer to you, if you want to graduate from high school and go to an HBCU, even if it’s not in Florida but especially Florida, like Florida Memorial, Edward Waters, Bethune Cookman or FAMU, if you want to do that, I want to help you do that,” Joyner told Jeantel on The Tom Joyner Morning Show.
“I will help you get tutors to get you out of high school, tutors to help you pass the SAT and I will give you a full ride scholarship to any HBCU you’d like,” he said.
Jeantel responded with a “thank you” and Joyner went on to explain that he was moved by her testimony and appearance on CNN’s Piers Morgan show on Monday night, where she discussed her thoughts in the aftermath of George Zimmerman trial.
The weeks-long trial ultimately acquitted Zimmerman of all charges in the death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin.
Jeantel is the friend of Martin who spoke with the teenager just before he died.
After her much-scrutinized testimony, Jeantel became a star witness and topic of discussion as many viewers and pundits ridiculed her demeanor and intelligence.
However, many also came to her defense, saying they applauded her courage and willingness to appear before the nation during one of the most-watched trials in history.
Joyner was among the admirers.
“At the Tom Joyner Foundation, our passion is focused on helping students fulfill their dreams at HBCUs,” Thomas Joyner Jr. said in a statement to theGrio. “We’re going to do everything we can to help Rachel Jeantel to pursue her dreams of getting a college education. We look forward to helping her experience the nurturing environment that an HBCU offers that has helped so many students over the years succeed.”
Jeantel’s lawyer, Rod Vereen, also appeared on the radio show and told Joyner of Jeantel’s future plans to go into law enforcement or perhaps become a homicide investigator.
The funding for the scholarship will be provided by the Tom Joyner Foundation.
Follow Lilly Workneh on Twitter @Lilly_Works