Craig J. Boykin – From GED to PhD

Last Updated on April 9, 2024.

We talked with Craig J. Boykin, who not only obtained his GED® diploma but also worked his way up to Master’s degrees in Theology and in Criminal Justice. Moreover, he worked his way toward a Ph.D. in adult education.

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Craig is also the author of a book (“My Life, Your Inspiration”) on how to pick up your life and a highly sought-after motivational speaker who recommends students looking to earn their GED diplomas to get started by taking online GED classes.

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Here is his inspiring story:

Craig experienced numerous challenges, and he thinks that this triggered his enthusiasm for supporting those people who are not so fortunate. In evaluating the incidents of his life, Craig came to the realization that this all started long before he was born.

His mother grew up in a broken home without her biological father, and as a desolate high school dropout who was physically and emotionally misused, she brought her firstborn, Craig, into this world when she was only 16 years of age.

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She did not have a job, she was a single mother with three kids, and she reluctantly needed to make use of public welfare to support herself and get a hold of food stamps.

It’s quite possible that the constraints of standing in life as a single parent started to close in on her. Craig’s mother started to drink, and she began using drugs every single day.

Her relations with guys were very dangerous all through Craig’s years as a child, and in elementary school, Craig’s scores started to drop. Fortunately, later on, he enrolled in an adult education program for motivated students to earn a High School Equivalency diploma through the GED program.

Craig started to make scenes and was sent away from school because he was fighting. The school teachers and counselors grew to be very worried about Craig’s behavior and chose to have him “examined.”

Craig was eventually identified as having learning disabilities and not being able to understand test-taking strategies. The school placed him in specific education classes for children with learning problems, and because of problems at school, Craig repeated several grades.

Dropping out of high school

For that reason, the moment Craig began the tenth grade at age 16, he was two years older than the majority of his classmates. He still did not have the required skills to compose a five-sentence piece, and Craig was actually reading on a level of grade school. They even thought of placing him in a sign language course to see if that would work for Craig.

Confused, Craig inevitably dropped out of school, and by doing so, he continued the family pattern of high school dropouts, as his mother, his father, and his brother and sister all prematurely quit school.

Overwhelmed about life in general, Craig started out engaging in countless risky projects, and this eventually resulted in Craig finding himself shot by a gang member.

The A-ha Moment

Craig couldn’t sink any lower, and he realized that a drastic change was required. One day, when Craig was locked up in the Montgomery County jail, he experienced an epiphany and made the decision to hunt down alternative solutions.

When he saw a commercial for the Job Corps program, he made a decision to enroll, and after one year in the Job Corps career program, Craig managed to enhance his effective note-taking skills in lectures and was successful in receiving both his GED certificate and a Retail Sales diploma.

As soon as he graduated, Craig signed up for the U.S. Army, and it was specifically in the military that he developed a good sense of discipline and integrity. In the course of his military service, Craig endured a physical injury, and after almost two years, he was medically discharged.

Going from GED to PhD

People around him encouraged Craig to sign up for a community college, but he decided to enroll in probably one of the most difficult four-year universities (Auburn) in his hometown of Montgomery, Alabama.

Despite the educational issues he had experienced learning for his GED diploma, of course, also with the anxiety to fail, only three years after starting out, Craig graduated from Auburn with a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration. He created a great study plan and proceeded to study at Faulkner University and managed to earn Master’s degrees in Theology and in Criminal Justice.

At the moment, Craig is concentrating on his Ph.D. in adult education and continuous learning, and we have learned that The Veterans Association has paid over 100,000 dollars for his academic education.


Craig J. Boykin is a well-known motivational speaker and is the author of My Life, Your Inspiration. Craig has decided to dedicate his life to building up lasting change for the people who need it most. Craig has become a nationally prominent person by delivering high-energy messages that tell people how to get rid of mediocrity and live up to their potential.

This is the message that Craig was taught in his own life, and he is working hard to help others apply the same message to their lives. Craig belongs to our nation’s most important authorities in comprehending and boosting human potential. He employs a robust message and the latest knowledge to teach, motivate and funnel many people toward new achievements.

Craig feels that his life’s personal mission is to provide hope to distressed individuals who are believing their present personal circumstances are without any hope, and he’s traveling the entire nation with his impressive seminar: “Make Life Count.”

He also presents life-changing valuable workshops aimed at young at-risk young persons named “Rise Above.” Well, you have the Freedom of Education, but Education will give you Freedom as well. Keep that in mind!

Furthermore, Craig presents seminars for teachers and educators entitled “How to Motivate the Unmotivated,” and he is a consultant and inspirational mentor for numerous at-risk youth and adults all over the United States. Craig is also engaged in training, guiding, and mentoring aspiring motivational speakers.

Craig’s advice for people who quit high school and now wish to turn around their lives

In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity. Craig firmly believes that the most difficult situations offer the best opportunity for a person to become something great.

For all of us, life is a journey. From birth and early childhood, through all stages of life,  until the moment of death, we all have to deal with a number of experiences, of which some are fantastic and joyful, and others troublesome and quite difficult.

As Craig looks back over his life, he sees that his life has a similar pattern, and he is aware of the fact that the most difficult situations have resulted in the biggest change. God promises to be around us in times of hardship, but he does not promise to lift us out of trouble.

He understands that difficulties can cause us to grow and change and that this ultimately will benefit us. Craig advises individuals to remember that you, and you alone, must decide to act, be it through online GED courses when you’re working full-time or any other education program that will stimulate you to find the right path.

This moment is your golden opportunity to break away from the limitations of your past and to live and act with a positive resolve. You must stop worrying about what has happened in the past, the opportunities you have let slip away, or the hurt that others may have imposed on you, for there is nothing you can do now to undo what has already happened.

But you do have the power, at this very moment, to change your life for the better. Any day you wish, you can discipline yourself to change it all.