As a young person, Dr. Tommie Mabry from Jackson, Mississippi, was kicked out from 10 schools and was arrested for breaking and entering. However, now, he is an author, motivational speaker, and educational consultant, and he just recently earned his Ph.D.

Mabry was in the fifth grade when he was first sentenced to several days in a detention center. He wasn’t even in high school yet when 10 public schools expelled him. He was problematic as a child until he took interest in the sport of basketball.

Mabry, who is the youngest of six children, eventually graduated from high school, making him the first in the family to do so. He earned a 1.8 GPA and was admitted to Missouri State University-West Plains. There, people still judged him and told him he wouldn’t be successful.

“I didn’t know how to write a paragraph until college, and they don’t teach that. I had a professor tell me I wouldn’t get a degree because I don’t write the way I should, I’m not a scholar. So I stayed In the writing lab at every college I went to,” Mabry told Because of Them We Can.

Dr. Tommie Mabry Giving A Talk

“The hard thing wasn’t the neighborhood; that was easy because I’m from it. It was sitting in a classroom with other scholars and scared for them to call on me to spell something on the board, that was my biggest fear. I worked on that my whole college career, but my mind was different, my why was different.”

Eventually, he received his honors Bachelor’s degree in education from Tugaloo College, a Master’s in child development from Tugaloo College, and now a Doctorate in Urban Higher Education from Jackson State University.

He is also the founder of the Tommie Mabry Company that he uses to promote professional development that empowers men and children across the country. Via his company, he has written and published several best-selling books including A Dark Journey To a Light Future and If Tommie Can Do It, We Can Do It.