Born and raised in Sampson County, Larry Boone’s acquisition of life lessons and education was gained from here, up and down the United States. After years of experience under his belt, Larry returned home and is on his way to earning his degree.
Life lessons stretched from the southern to northern United States but back home in Clinton is where he has chosen to make his mark when he earns a degree in the computer field, his second, right here at Sampson Community College.
“I chose to go back to school because that has always been my desire, and this was just the right time and opportunity,” says Boone, who is a commercial artist. “Years ago, when I did a sign or banner it was done freehand. But now with modern technology and techniques, that’s the way to go. Coming back to school and learning how to apply this knowledge was certainly a plus for me. Especially, in the field of graphic arts.”
Boone attended Hargrove High School, Clinton High School and Hobbton before graduating in 1973. After a brief stint in Florida to earn extra income for his family, he relocated to Newark, New Jersey. This is where his interest in commercial art began. Originally, it served as a side job, but he wanted more.
After moving from Newark to East Orange, New Jersey, he joined Faith Temple Freewill Baptist Church and was ordained as deacon and later appointed as the Vice President of the Brotherhood Convention of the Freewill Baptist Conference in his district. “Larry always wears a smile,” says Blair Hairr, Dean of Student Services at SCC. “He’s a kind, hardworking and dependable person. I admire his determination and positivity.”
Boone left New jersey to pursue coursework in a commercial art school in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Upon completion, Boone travelled back to New Jersey—this time in Union, NJ–and attended the Robert Walsh Business School where he earned his first degree in computer programming. He graduated, then married his wife and they decided to come back home to Sampson County with their first child.
Boone worked at a local company for more than two decades upon his return until the business closed its doors in 2016. For Boone, this was a turning point in his life. After attending a career fair that featured Sampson Community College, he learned about opportunities to earn a degree and return to the workforce. This was his opportunity to learn the latest computer technology and how it could apply to his dream to re-enter the commercial art spectrum.
Nathan McKee, Information Technology instructor, says the sky is the limit for Boone.
“Larry has been a very dedicated student. He has a very strong work ethic,” says McKee. “If it takes him longer to learn new ideas or topics, he doesn’t give up. He sticks with it and gets the job done. He’s very personable and is well-liked by faculty, staff, and other students.”
Boone says he has learned to turn life experiences, whether good or bad, into life learning opportunities. When word got out about his dedication and perseverance, he was also hired as a work study student in the SCC maintenance department. “An exceptional worker!” That’s how Jacob Miller, Director of Facilities Management at the college, describes him. “He always has a positive attitude toward his daily task and is always happy to perform any task or helping others during his working duties. I could not have asked for a better work study student. He will make an excellent employee for a lucky company when he completes his degree this spring.”
“I have learned a lot on this journey,” Boone adds. “I am a little older than the average student here. I have been through some rough times, but I have also had some great times. I wouldn’t give up my experiences for anything in the world. I have learned a lot.” When Boone walks across the stage this May, he will be seeking employment in the computer field and most likely, he won’t have a problem finding his future. “I guess I am a living example of the slogan ‘Begin Here, Go Anywhere.’”
Editor’s note: This perspective was originally published by Sampson Community College. It has been posted with the author’s permission.