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He spent the next few years earning his bachelor’s and master’s degrees.

While going to school at the University of Wyoming, Mr. Caruth found himself subpoenaed for a stabbing he was wrongly accused of committing. He eventually would be found innocent, but his studies suffered and he flunked out of law school there.

Not to be undone, he earned his doctorate in adult learning and technology. He’s the first in his family to have earned a doctorate.

“My goal had been to be a professional athlete and buy my mom a new house,” Mr. Caruth said. “I built a house with a spare room for her.”

In 2006, he took a job at UDC rejuvenating the Office of Institutional Research, Assessment and Planning. He also started the university’s academic advisement office and found he had a knack for helping others.

“He’s been a mentor, a colleague and a friend,” said Gregory Bosworth, who was hired by Mr. Caruth at UDC. “He tells me exactly what I need to know and need to do. He’s helped me immensely, and I can’t overstate his value.”

On Saturday, Mr. Caruth will be signing copies of his book “God’s Perfect Timing: Breaking the Cycle of Poverty With Education and Faith” at Sankofa Video, Books & Cafe at 2714 Georgia Ave. NW.

“It chronicles my life, but it’s not necessarily about me,” Mr. Caruth said. “It doesn’t matter how big the challenges are, there are ways to work through them.”