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Craig J. Boykin    

Inspirational Speaker, Author & Consultant Who Overcame Numerous Obstacles

Craig J. Boykin is one of the most sought-after speakers in America. Boykin endured numerous hardships that he credits for his passion for helping others. His father left Boykin and his mother before Boykin was even born. His mother began using drugs when he was in grade school. Boykin was diagnosed with a learning disability and placed in special education in third grade. Due to his difficulties in school, he repeated the third and fifth grades. Consequently, by the time Boykin was in the tenth grade, he was two years older than most of his classmates and he still did not hold the necessary skills to write a five-sentence paragraph.

Overwhelmed, Boykin ultimately dropped out of high school, thus continuing the cycle of high school dropouts in his family. His mother, father, brother, and sister all dropped out of high school. Confused about life, Boykin began engaging in dangerous activities that led him to land in jail and shot by a rival gang member of his brother. Boykin decided to enroll in the Job Corps which allowed him to earn both his G.E.D. and a diploma in Retail Sales. Immediately upon graduating from Job Corps, he enlisted in the U.S. Army. It was in the military that he developed integrity and discipline.

Boykin later enrolled in one of the most challenging four-year universities in his home town. In spite of the educational challenges he faced with a G.E.D, learning disability, and the pressure of failing, three years later, he graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Auburn University Montgomery. He went on to earn a master’s degree in theology and a master’s degree in criminal justice, both from Faulkner University. He is currently working on his Ph.D.

Speech Topics


"Make Life Count" (Keynote)

Make Life Count (GED to Ph.D.) is a stimulating account of Craig J. Boykin’s inspiring journey from a very challenging upbringing to motivating millions across America. Leaders across America struggle with the role of leading at-risk students and their teachers.

"Making Education Count" (Keynote)

It is imperative that teachers make education count for ALL students. Across America, Craig expresses to educators that if they were working in a factory dealing with widgets, it would cost the company about $.30 cent to fix one if they damaged it. However, in education, we're not dealing with widgets, we are dealing with REAL lives. If we fail to educate these kids, in many cases, they are pushed out into society and funneled into the prison system or worse, end up dead. It is important that educators do their best to reach each student, regardless of their situation and/or circumstances. In this keynote speech Craig exposes educators to his challenges as an at-risk youth, and gives them techniques and ideas on how to deal with these students in various ways.

Professional Development/Conference Workshop How to Motivate the Unmotivated "Teaching with Poverty in Mind"

Learn how to help at-risk students succeed in your classroom. It’s clear that students from poverty are habitually at a disadvantage when it comes to education, and educators can find it challenging to motivate such students become positively engaged in their own learning. Above all, Craig J. Boykin advises educators to avoid giving up on “difficult” students by deciding that certain students “can’t be taught,” and provides powerful examples of at-risk students succeeding in large numbers in supportive environments. Craig also admonishes, to remember the three “R’s,” educators must be Real, Respectful, and make information Relevant!

#RISEABOVE (Youth Workshop)

This is a motivational workshop for youth who may need a little extra motivation. This workshop is intended to inspire youth to #RISEABOVE their current situations and circumstances and achieve desired greatness.

"Teamwork Makes Your Dreams Work " (Graduation Speech)

What is your mindset about success?, What are your goals in life?, Your words have power, Your attitude will determine your altitude, Surround yourself with those on the same mission as you, Education is the solution, it doesn’t matter what your problems are., Are you able to adapt to life, Your good character is the most important asset you have!

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