Former NBA executive, author and motivational speaker Lucas Boyce inspired Daytona State College students, faculty and staff as part of the L. Gale Lemerand Entrepreneurial Speaker Series, which awards scholarships to students and promotes an entrepreneurial spirit.
The Speaker Series was held Oct. 18 at the Mori Hosseini Center and was hosted by the Small Business Development Center and DSC.Lucas Boyce speaking to a packed house at DSC’s Mori Hoseinni Center.
DSC President, Dr. Thomas LoBasso, introduced Lemerand as “one of the nation’s leading entrepreneurs, he has founded more than 100 successful companies. He’s a philanthropist to many colleges and civic programs in the area.”
“I’m really the story of the American dream. I came from very humble beginnings. As time went on, I became a very successful salesman. I surrounded myself with some great people and I think that’s the name of the game,” said Lemerand.
Two students, Kalisha Alston and Michael Jefferson, were awarded $1000 scholarships based on professors’ recommendations, class performance, financial need and interest in entrepreneurship.
Alston is an AA student who maintains a 3.5 GPA and has a passion for working with the elderly. She wants to become a registered nurse, so she can open her own senior care facility.
Jefferson is in DSC’s Hospitality Management program and maintains a 3.7 GPA. His dream is to own a bed and breakfast. After 17 years of thinking about his dream he decided to take the steps to make it come true and enrolled at DSC.
He expressed his gratitude for the scholarship, commenting that it is very helpful to receive financial assistance aside from loans. “You don’t have to pay back scholarships,” he said.
Featured speaker, Boyce, spent a portion of his life in poverty and foster care, of which he wrote a book, “Living Proof: From Foster Care to the White House and the NBA.” In addition to his time with the Orlando Magic, Boyce served at the White House in the Office of Political Affairs. He earned his bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Central Missouri and graduated with his Executive MBA from Rollins College in 2013.
In an introduction to his two moms, his adoptive mother and his birth mother, he touched the hearts of audience members. His birth mother got on the wrong path as a young girl, into a life of drugs and selling her body. He is the result of that lifestyle. He does not know his biological father and he has not seen his birth mother since he was three.
He described his adoptive mother as courageous. “She believes that all of us are built for something more,” he said, adding that she took in 40 foster care children over the course of 15 years. She adopted six of those children and had four of her own. At one time, she was a single mom with 11 kids.
“Every single one of us is living proof,” Boyce said, describing family members with disabilities who his mother adopted. Quoting Psalm 139, he told the audience that everyone is “fearfully and wonderfully made,” which, he said, means they are built for something more.
When his mother pressed him for answers as to what he wanted to do when he graduated he had four answers. He wanted to share his faith anywhere and wherever he could – to be a missionary. He wanted to fly on Air Force One, work at the White House and work for an NBA team. Boyce credited the “God of the Universe” with helping him achieve his list of goals.
He ended his speech where he began, with a poetic reading about us all being “living proof” that we are sons and daughters of a King, perfectly created, living proof of grace.
To learn more about the L. Gale Lemerand Entrepreneurial Speaker Series, future speakers and scholarship opportunities visit: https://www.daytonastate.edu/entrepreneurship/