UNDATED (USAToday.com) - The teen who says she and Trayvon Martin were discussing their futures in the moments before Trayvon was killed says she is grateful for a radio host's offer to help her create a successful one.
Rachel Jeantel, 19, testified at the trial of George Zimmerman, who was found not guilty of second-degree murder and manslaughter in Trayvon's death. Jeantel was on the phone with Trayvon and testified she believed Trayvon's February 2012 encounter with Zimmerman was racially charged and that Zimmerman was the aggressor.
Trayvon, 17, and Jeantel are black. Zimmerman, 29, is Hispanic. Jeantel drew criticism for inconsistencies in her story, as well as for her speech and mannerisms during her testimony.
"If you want to graduate from high school, and go to an HBCU (historically black college or university), even if it's not in Florida but especially Florida ... I want to help you," syndicated radio host Tom Joyner told her on live radio. "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."
Jeantel simply responded "thank you," saying she might have an interest in criminal justice.
Wednesday night, when Joyner and Jeantel appeared on HLN's Nancy Grace, Jeantel expanded on her response, saying, "I'm blessed and I just want to thank him and his followers."
Joyner also defended Jeantel from critics, saying she comes from an "underserved community," but that doesn't mean she isn't credible. Jeantel speaks three languages -- English, Spanish and Haitian Creole.
"You can understand her if you listen. No one was listening," Joyner said.
"I want to help her. She's 19 years old, she hasn't graduated from high school yet. ... You stand a better chance of success if you have a college education," Joyner said. "And at an HBCU you are more than just a number."