D’IBERVILLE, Miss. (WLOX) - Eight years after her parents were murdered, D’Iberville High School’s salutatorian will share her story of triumph.
“I believe that triumph and victory and the ability to overcome is within the grasp of all of us,” she said as she read an except from her speech. Nina Brashear prepared to deliver a message of hope to her fellow classmates at D’Iberville High School.
“Although life is extremely challenging, there is light at the end of very dark times," she said.
Brashear may be timid and reserved, but she is known to be a strong force in the classroom.
“Once I started making more As, I think I wanted to continue with that,” she said.
“If it meant that she wanted to stay up until 2:30, 3 o’clock in the morning to get a specific project done perfectly, she did it," said Deen Brashear, her adoptive father. “She made time for all things important.”
Brashear said getting to this point took a lot of faith after her parents and aunt were found dead in a D’Iberville home. Her family’s case remains unsolved.
Brashear recalled coming home from school that day. Usually accompanied by her siblings, a series of circumstances led her to arrive alone.
“I went into my mom and dad’s room and I saw my aunt on the floor and she wasn’t moving," she said.
She described seeing a suspicious man in the house, who she recognized as a worker at her parent’s restaurant, Chinese Happiness.
“He was in the bathroom and there was a big mirror so I could see his reflection. He was holding a pocket knife or something, and so I just ran out," she said.
The murder left her and her three siblings as orphans. Upon hearing the news, Allison Brashear, Nina’s first grade teacher, and her husband Deen stepped forward to take them in.
“The very next morning we went and got fingerprinted and had background checks done so that could be arranged,” Deen said.
Through hard work, Brashear earned a place at the top of her class and a platform to inspire others.
“Even though the loss of my parents was a very dark time in my life, I must tell you that there is always hope, always a new day," she read from her speech.
Brashear said she plans to go to Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College and hopes to become an optometrist.