The Wisdom from a 3rd Grade Drop Out (Motivation for Every Human Being on the Planet)

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The Most Inspiring Speech: The Wisdom of a Third Grade Dropout Will Change Your Life | Rick Rigsby


Make an Impact: Rick Rigsby delivers a powerful speech on how his father’s teachings have guided him through the most troubling times of his life. Are you Inspired? Order Dr. Rick Rigsby’s book, “Lessons from a third grade dropout” 





Who is Rick Rigsby?

Enrique D. “Rick” Rigsby was born in 1956, in San Francisco, California USA, and is a motivational speaker, author, minister, and former college professor, best known from earning recognition after delivering a motivational speech at the California University Maritime Academy in 2017; his speech went viral shortly after the event.

Rick grew up with San Francisco, and according to him he was raised by the wisest man he knew, who was his father. His father worked as a cook, having dropped out of school during third grade to help with his family’s farm. His father encouraged him to live life to the fullest, and instilled in him numerous life lessons, which included avoiding being judgmental, making sure to do everything the right way, and making an impact with whatever he did. Rick attended California State University (CSU)-Chico, and graduated in 1978 with a degree in Mass Communications. He then continued his studies with a master’s degree in Public Communications, after which he went to the University of Oregon to complete a PhD. While working on his studies, he served as an anchor and reporter for the Chico CBS affiliate station KHSL-TV, where he worked for a year, but after completing his graduate studies, he then tried his hand at a career in the academic field.

Academics and Business

For two years Rigsby worked at CSU Fresno as an assistant professor, then in 1992 he moved to Texas A&M, where he served in the same position, mainly teaching speech communication classes, which saw him win the Outstanding Teaching Award from the College of Liberal Arts. He also coached for the school’s football team, the Texas A&M Aggies, leading him to win another award called the Outstanding Faculty Diversity Award. He served as an assistant professor for the next 14 years, but eventually decided to pursue a career in business, leaving his teaching career behin



His family moved to Dallas so that he could focus more on the company he launched – Rick Rigsby Communications. The company is focused on motivational speaking work, corporate teaching, starting to work with numerous sports organizations. He became a frequent attendee in both the National Football League (NFL) and the Professional Golfers’ Association (PGA), as well as delivering speeches at public schools and Christian colleges.


In 2017, Rick gave a speech during the commencement ceremony at the California State Maritime Academy, which went viral, boosting his popularity, business and net worth, receiving many responses, ‘phone calls and emails from numerous organizations. It was the first time anything like that had happened to him in 30 years. He also released a book entitled “Lessons from a Third Grade Dropout”, which is a reference to his life growing up with his father. The book is much like his speeches, honoring the work of his father, who many mistakenly deemed as uneducated.


Personal Life

For his personal life, it is known that Rigsby was married to Trina Williams and they had two children together. The couple met in college and married soon after; he worked as a reporter while his wife worked as a nurse at Feather River Hospital, however, she passed away in 1996 after a fight with breast cancer. He mentioned in his speeches that Trina was the only one who gave her a real phone number during college. She fought cancer for six years before passing away.


After her death, Rigsby was depressed for two years, and again it was his father who encouraged him to get back on his feet. His father told him that one should never give up on life, despite having difficult times. He realized that he needed to understand the broken-hearted so that he could help them as well. Later on he met Janet Butcher, and they married in 1998 – they now have two children together, and reside in Dallas, Texas, He’s stated that he has adapted to the Texas lifestyle, enjoying listening to country music, hunting and fishing. He has even referred to himself as a “Blackneck Redneck”.