The high school senior is working two jobs while caring for her younger brother

By Nicole Weisensee Egan
April 15, 2014 03:00 PM

For Jazmin Avila Gomez of Paul, Idaho, the last two months have been about keeping her head above water.

The 19-year-old high school senior lost six of her family members when their car was hit by a drunk driver in Mexico in February.

She has since been working two jobs while going to school full time and caring for her younger brother, Jesus Avila Gomez, 17. She hasn’t been able to fully grieve her family’s death.

“I don t sleep good and it’s hard to keep my focus on school,” she told the (Idaho) Times News.

She and her brother lost their mother Maria Avila,53, brother Fizel Avila Gomez, 28, a sister-in-law, Ofelia Avila Gomez, 28 and three young nieces. Jazmin and Jesus did not go on the trip to Mexico because of their work and school schedules.

Another brother, Juan Avila Gomez, 23, survived the car crash and is just now starting to come out of the coma. He is in a nursing home in a town nearby.

“We’re going to have to tell him about what happened. He’s been asking about our Mom and brother,” says Jazmin.

Jazmin has been trying to keep the family’s home but is struggling to pay the mortgage each month.

Local residents will hold a benefit dinner for them on April 23.

“I’m just trying to keep going and do the best I can for me and my brother,” Jazmin said. “I just want to say thank you to everybody who has helped us.”

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