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Dropout turned doctoral candidate to speak at RCC

On Friday, June 6, at 2:30 p.m., Rappahannock Community College’s Kilmarnock Center will present a much-sought-after motivational speaker. After dropping out of high school and experiencing many other setbacks, Craig J. Boykin bounced back to earn his GED, and then bachelor’s and master’s degrees. He is currently working for a doctorate degree.

He is coming to RCC in the hope of reaching and redirecting other students who are at risk of dropping out. Anyone who has had—or is having—problems similar to those Boykin faced can benefit from listening to his inspiring story.

Boykin thinks that the numerous challenges he had to deal with while growing up triggered his enthusiasm for helping people who have not yet been able to put their past behind them. His mother grew up in a broken home where she was physically and emotionally abused. Herself a high school dropout, she had her first baby when she was only 16 years old. As a single mother with three children and no job, she was forced to use welfare payments and food stamps to make ends meet, and soon began to drink and use drugs.

Behavior problems in school branded Boykin, her oldest child, as learning disabled. He was placed in special education classes, and had to repeat the third and fifth grades. At age 16, in the 10th grade, Boykin was reading at only fifth-grade level, and lacked the writing skills to compose so much as a five-sentence paragraph. Continuing the family pattern of dropping out of school—like his mother, father, brother and sister prompted a change in the direction of his life. To learn more about Boykin’s life and experiences, visit

posted 05.28.2014

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