A little over a year has passed since the fatal shooting of Ahmaud Arbery in a Georgia town shocked the nation, and rocked his loved ones to their core. But even in the midst of grappling with the tragedy and fighting to secure justice, Arbery’s big sister, Jasmine Arbery, managed to secure a victory for them both.
In May the mother of one celebrated reaching her second collegiate milestone after earning her master’s degree in clinical mental health counseling from Albany State University. Jasmine, who previously completed her bachelor’s degree at ASU, was ranked at the top of the psychology department.
With a series of photos posted to Instagram, Jasmine shared how arduous the journey to her second degree had truly been.
“Whew! A journey is not great unless you find what you seek. My journey was filled with many challenges that included working two jobs, a natural disaster, the tragic loss of my brother, a pandemic, giving birth, anxiety, grief and issues lwith my financial aid,” wrote the graduate.
She continued, “But I am proud to say those challenges equal the factors that will make me an excellent therapist. I have the opportunity to offer support based on real life experiences. In just a few days I will be graduating with a Master’s degree specializing in Clinical Mental Health Counseling! I ooze #BlackGirlMagic.”
In a heartfelt gesture Jasmine shared the degree was just as much for her brother as it was for her.
“I dedicate this degree to my brother #AhmaudArbery . The ceremony is held on your your birthday [May 8] and you always believed in me! 💙 #BlackLivesMatter”
Arbery was running through his community near Brunswick when he was followed and gunned down by father-son duo Gregory and Travis McMichael. A friend of the McMichaels, William “Roddie” Bryan Jr. is accused of hunting Arbery down, hitting him with his truck, and recording the fatal Feb. 23, 2020, incident. A graphic video of the incident shows Arbery as he lies in the street taking his last breath.
Following the arrest of the McMichaels and Bryan, Jasmine said her family was able to release a sigh of relief. “As of today we feel a sense of relief, this has been a long run, it’s been a long time, it feels like it’s been a long time so this day was a turning point of my brother’s case, and getting justice for him,” Arbery told Chris Cuomo during a May 2020 appearance on the “Cuomo Prime Time” show.
The three men were each indicted on hate crime and attempted kidnapping charges. A state trial is expected to begin Oct. 18.