In the recent past, five members of the Royal family attended Craven Community College (CCC) at the very same time. George Royal, II, his mother Hazel Royal, his sister Krishanda Royal-Jones, and nephews, D’Nadre Bell and Doravion Bell have made education at CCC a family affair. Hazel Royal graduated with honors last week with an associate in arts degree in psychology. George Royal, II, along with his sister, graduated with associate’s degrees in May 2012.
On May 9th, at the age of 29, George graduated with honors from East Carolina University (ECU) with a Bachelor of Science degree in criminal justice. George was also a member of ECU’s Leadership Society, Criminal Justice Honor Society, and Phi Beta Sigma fraternity, where he is chairman of scholarships. “If it wasn’t for CCC, I would not have been prepared for ECU and graduating with honors is especially meaningful to me,” said George.
George credits many members of the CCC faculty and staff for his accomplishment because of their encouragement and mentorship. “Based on my past performance in high school, many people said I was not college material so the academic foundation and support I received from CCC changed my perspective and motivated me,” said George. George says CCC instructors helped him improve his study skills, which helped him excel in his studies at ECU.
George is a veteran of the U.S. Navy and was inspired by his mother to return to school after leaving the Navy. “Seeing my mother study diligently motivated me to pursue my education,” said George. While studying criminal justice at CCC, George was the president of the Male Mentoring Empowerment Group. He is appreciative of the academic and leadership guidance provided by CCC math instructor Katrina Bishop and Zomar Peter, CCC’s executive director of enrollment and retention. George is currently an intern at the Family Violence Center in Greenville, North Carolina. After he completes his internship, he plans to initiate his own nonprofit organization dedicated to mentoring the at-risk male population, ages 9-18, in the New Bern area.
“Seeing George cross the stage at the ECU graduation was a wonderful feeling because his dream, and our family’s dream, came true,” said Hazel Royal. Hazel said she cannot over-emphasize the benefits her family gained from their CCC educations. “CCC really helped George grow and spark his motivation to continue his education,” added Hazel. Hazel said that George is a role model for his peers and for the youth. Krishanda is currently a student at ECU seeking a degree in family and marriage therapy. George Royal, Sr., is the pastor of the Abundant Life Miracle Center Inc., in New Bern, and recently completed his course work for a Master of Arts in Christian Counseling.
Deborah Kania is the director of marketing, communications and development liaison at Craven Community College.
Article originally appeared in the New Bern Sun Journal.