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After Rachel Jeantel‘s primetime appearance as a witness in the killing of her friend, Trayvon Martin, the 19-year-old says the experience has inspired her to pursue a law career. Jeantel spoke exclusively to The Rickey Smiley Morning Show last week when she spoke about how the George Zimmerman trial affected her.

She said the not guilty verdict truly surprised her.

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“And after the verdict justice did not serve,” Jeantel said. “Um, I worked so hard and so focused to this case and this happened and I was upset, so. It’s what it is. So I got to still keep fighting for justice for Trayvon.”

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She also said Trayvon was nothing like the young thug many in the conservative media made him out to be. “He was a family guy,” Jeantel said. “A family guy. I loving person, a good friend. And just somebody to talk to when you need help.”

Here is more from the Rickey Smiley Morning Show:

Ebony Steele: So Rachel, in that, what, what, because, in one of the interviews last night I saw that, uh, they were talking about, of course, the past year and a half of your life has been a whirlwind. You have not yet completed high school but you want to do that so that you can go to college, correct?

RJ: Yes, I am.

ES: And what do you want to major in?

RJ: Law enforcement. Or I’ve been thinking about an attorney, becoming an attorney. You never know.

RS: I’m sure this case right here is definitely an inspiration. You know?

ES: Right.

Smiley told Jeantel that he would pay for her books during her first semester of college. “We don’t have Tom Joyner money, but we’ll get them books for you though,” he said. She has not finished high school yet, but plans on earning her diploma eventually.

And, in typical Rickey Smiley fashion, he told Jeantel he would give her something else to help her during her first semester. “And we’re going to take you to Target to get you, you know, drawers, deodorant, shampoo,” he said. Too funny!

For the full interview, listen to the video below:

Rachel Jeantel: I Want To Be A Lawyer  was originally published on