PULSE Speaker Craig Boykin Has Been There

y Kristen Barnes-Holiday, Director of Program Outcomes

Nationally-renowned motivational speaker Craig Boykin is coming to Detroit this November to share his inspiring story of how he overcame life’s obstacles and is now pursuing his Ph.D.

Although Craig is a huge success today, he did not have an easy start. Craig is the product of a broken home, born to a single 16-year-old mother who struggled with substance abuse. Growing up in an impoverished household where abuse and illiteracy were the norms, he was already at a disadvantage before he ever entered a classroom.  Devastated by his unstable and chaotic household, Craig began to fall significantly behind academically, and because of his challenges in the classroom, he began to act out in class.  His poor grades and behavioral problems eventually led him to being tested, and thereafter diagnosed with a learning disability, which landed him in Special Education classrooms.

Craig inevitably dropped out of school and became a father by age 14. As a high school dropout and one who struggled with illiteracy, Craig began engaging in illegal activities, which eventually landed him in jail. It was in jail where Craig had the realization that he needed to change his life. After convincing the judge he was committed to changing his life, he was released and entered into a job corps program, eventually gaining a diploma in Retail Sales and attaining his GED—after a failed attempt to pass the exam.

After successfully passing the GED, Craig enlisted in the military, eventually being medically discharged after only two years of service. He then enrolled in a 4-year university, completing both his undergraduate and master’s degree. He is a currently a Ph.D. candidate in Adult Education.

“My life truly is a motivation to those who are struggling, to those who said ‘life dealt me a bad hand’,” says Boykin.

As a motivational speaker and author, Craig is passionate about helping adults stay on course to reach their goals. He understands and empathizes with what they’re going through, because he has been there himself.  His story is a powerful, impactful and a life-changing message that is changing the mindset of the learners and educators wherever he speaks.

Craig hopes telling his story here in Detroit will inform and strengthen the work of adult literacy providers as they help learners advance through adult education programs. Craig Boykin will speak at two events:

  • November 3rd at Focus: Hope – for learners looking for motivation. Contact a Reading Works Impact Partner if you are interested in attending; space is limited.
  • November 4th as the Keynote Speaker of the Annual PULSE Conference – for literacy providers, teachers, community leaders and philanthropists. Register now

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