If Eufaula High School leaders wanted to get a strong message across to their seniors three weeks before graduation, they can mark that box as checked.
Author, consultant and motivational speaker Craig Boykin delivered a jaw-dropping testimony to the EHS seniors at their annual luncheon held last week at Lakepoint Resort State Park.
Boykin, a Montgomery native, grew up in a single-parent home with a drug-addicted mother, was diagnosed with a learning disability as a third-grader, dropped out of school in the 10th grade, yet went on to earn a Bachelor’s degree, two Master’s and a PhD.
Boykin told the EHS seniors “...this is the beginning, not the end.”
Graduation is set for Eufaula High School on May 17 at 7:30 p.m. at Tiger Stadium, weather-permitting.
When his mother was 15, she was pregnant with Craig. She called the father of her baby to inform him and his comment was, “What’s that got to do with me?” Later, his stepfather was nicknamed “Death,” and he began abusing Craig’s mother. Craig’s then 5-year-old brother stabbed “Death” to get him off his mother during one abusive episode.
“Young ladies,” Boykin told the audience, “don’t ever allow a man to put his hands on you and don’t ever allow a man to cheat on you. If you take him back, that’s giving him permission to do it again.”
Boykin would eventually spend time in jail, yet found a way to turn his life around. He has now authored five books. His daughter became valedictorian of her class.
“You can be the first person in your family to get a degree or the next person in your family to be on Food Stamps,” Boykin said.