The focus of our professional developments is to reach reluctant and/or struggling staff member(s) and provide a basis for their interactions with all constituents who are proponents for a culture rich learning environment.

The focus of our presentations is to learn creative ways to remove emotional barriers for student achievement. Increase emotional Intelligence and awareness. Gain tools to help students process and cope with emotional trauma and develop creative ways to build relationships and trust with students

Participants attending our workshops will be able to return to their schools/districts, review their school improvement plans with their leadership teams and begin to refine existing practices in teaching and reaching high risk youth.

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Professional Services

GED to PhD.: The Story Behind the Data


Professional Development / Keynote 

This real-life inspirational story will give you goosebumps. It’s a stimulating account of Craig J. Boykin’s inspiring journey from GED to PhD. In this session educators will learn how to help at-risk students succeed in their classroom. Learn WHY many at-risk students aren’t motivated to learn. Learn WHY many at-risk students gravitate towards sports and not education. Come learn what you as an educator can do to help the Craig’s you teach daily. 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. Craig advises educators to avoid giving up on “difficult” students by deciding that certain students “can’t be taught.” 

Tools and Strategies for School Leaders to Dismantle the School-to-Prison Pipeline


Professional Development / Keynote 

It is imperative that teachers make education count for ALL students. Across America, Craig conveys to educators that we must (1) educate ourselves about the “school discipline gap.” (2) Help students and colleagues unlearn misperceptions about students from poverty. (3) Continue reaching out to low-income families even when they appear unresponsive (and without assuming, if they are unresponsive, that we know why). (4) Respond when colleagues stereotype poor students or parents. (5) Fight to keep low-income students from being assigned unjustly to special education or low academic tracks. (6) Make curriculum relevant to poor students, drawing on and validating their experiences and intelligences. Most important, we must consider how our own class biases affect our interactions with and expectations of our students.           

Overcoming Cultural Poverty, Disengaged Parents, and Apathetic Students.


Professional Development / Keynote

Poverty is all too common in America’s schools. What's rare, is an opportunity for educators to sit an absorb first-hand from a former at-risk student who dropped out of high school, endured a mother abusing drugs, absent father and learning disability. Ultimately, repeating two grades. In this engaging session participants will unlearn perceived fallacies about students from poverty as well as discover my 4 R’s of education. Educators must be REAL with students and parents from poverty. Educators must understand that RESPECT is everything to today’s youth (which is why when made to feel disrespected they go from calm to irate really quickly). Educators should make classroom material RELEVANT to the lives of the youth and Educators must form and nurture meaningful RELATIONSHIPS with each student. Craig’s trademark slogan is “GED to PHD”, which is a concrete paradigm that educators should never give up on any student.


The Transformative Influence of a Trauma Conscious Educator!

The impact of childhood trauma and chronic stress is one of the most pressing issues facing educators and society at large. If you work with youth there’s a good chance you work with trauma. Trauma prevents students from being able to engage fully in the present moment. In a trauma-informed school, the adults in the school community are prepared to recognize and respond to those who have been impacted by traumatic stress.  Becoming a trauma-informed educator requires a layered approach to create an environment with clear behavior expectations for everyone, open communication, and sensitivity to the feelings and emotions of others. Craig was a marginalized youth of color from an extremely poor environment who was exposed to traumatic events until he dropped out of school. A school reflects society. Within a school's walls are especially vulnerable students, such as those with histories of neglect, trauma, or violenceSchools are well positioned to help these traumatized students. Due to their regular contact with students, teachers and school staff are more likely to be aware of a child’s victimization than are other authorities such as doctors and police. Although some might argue that teachers should focus solely on academics, the reality is that teachers can't teach effectively if their students are not able to focus on learning. Students cannot learn effectively when they are burdened by the effects of trauma or when they do not have strong communication and emotion regulation skills.


Make College Count


Learn strategies and the best practices of how to become a successful college student from the perspective of a former high school dropout.


Make Education Count

Youth Presentation 

This is a motivational session 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.