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Friend of Trayvon Martin gets make-over from top US magazine

MAKEOVER: Rachel Jeantel

THE FRIEND of Trayvon Martin, an innocent black teenager shot dead by a neighbourhood watchman, has been given a glamourous makeover courtesy of Ebony magazine.

After becoming the centre of one of the year's most high-profile cases, Rachel Jeantel became both the target of criticism and the beneficiary of praise and charitable giving.

But now, the 19-year-old, who served as the prosecution's key witness in the trial of George Zimmerman, the man who shot and killed her friend, is putting the past behind her and taking an exciting step into her future - with a new look.

Ebony magazine and, two of America's leading black publications, teamed up to help the teen update her look as she transitions from her teenage years to adulthood.

Radio host Tom Joyner has also offered Jeantel, who is currently finishing her last year of high school, a full paid scholarship to the historically black college or university of her choosing.

NEW LOOK: Jeantel is pampered by hairstylist Amoy Pitters

“I’m blessed. That’s the truth,” Jeantel told theGrio. “Everybody wants to be in my shoes right now. But for me, I’m taking this opportunity, and I’m hitting it hard.”

KILLED: Trayvon Martin

With the help of the glam team from Amoy Couture Hair Salon, Jeantel got new hair extensions, a manicure and had her makeup done.

“I know that this is going to change a lot for her," Amoy Pitters said. "So it’s just really nice to be a part of it, and finally get a chance to meet her, and help with her overall new look.”

“She’s super young, with all this vivaciousness and personality,” Ebony's style director, Marielle Bobo said. “We want to keep that, but translate it into ways that can work for her, for her new life as a student. We want to give her a look that’s going to translate from campus life, to any internships, or employment that she may be doing while she’s at school.”

FINISHING TOUCHES: Jeantel's look is finished off by the wardrobe department

Jeantel's testimony became the subject of much analysis concerning her diction, demeanor and education. She was also criticised for having lied about attending Martin's memorial service and for having lied about her age.

But Jeantel says she is putting the negativity behind her and moving forward toward new adventures with her new look.

“I don’t really care about that,” she said. “I can’t let them put me down."

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