Jessica Cox was born without arms. The doctors do not know why she was born “differently-abled.” But she does. Jessica has made achievements with her feet that most people only dream of. Now she shares her story with people around the world. Jessica’s most famous accomplishment was learning how to fly. It took three states, four airplanes, two flight instructors and a discouraging year to find the right aircraft: a 1946 415C Ercoupe Airplane. She received the Guinness World Record for being the first person certified to fly an airplane with only their feet. Jessica now works as a motivational speaker. She travels the world sharing her story and encouraging people to be creative and innovative with the slogan “Think outside the shoe.”™
KEN DRUCK, PhD
Dr. Ken Druck, a resilience coach and communications consultant, is the founder of The Jenna Druck Center in San Diego, CA, an award-winning author, speaker, and devoted father. He is one of the nation’s leading experts in personal transformation, having paved the way for grief literacy and healing in some of the nation’s worst tragedies. His most recent book, The Real Rules of Life, is for anyone looking to learn how to turn adversity into opportunity. Ken’s inspiring message is told through his own personal tragedy – the death of his daughter Jenna. Ken has been featured in media, including The Oprah Winfrey Show, Larry King Live, Anderson Cooper 360, CNN, The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, USA Today, The Chicago Tribune, The Los Angeles Times, and many more.
ADAPT: OVERCOMING ADVERSITY
Jim Abbott was born without a right hand. He was an All-America hurler at Michigan; won the Sullivan Award in 1987; was the pitcher for the Gold Medal Olympic Team in 1988; and threw a 4-0 no-hitter for the New York Yankees. Jim played for 10 seasons and ended his big league playing career in 1999. Jim has worked with The Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy on several initiatives encouraging businesses to hire people with disabilities. Today, in addition to often being a Guest Pitching Instructor during Spring Training for the Los Angeles Angels, Jim Abbott is a motivational speaker and author of the book, Imperfect: An Improbable Life.
BONNIE ST JOHN
WINNERS GET UP
Bonnie has risen to the highest levels of achievement in a variety of endeavors Despite having her right leg amputated at age five, Bonnie St. John, became the first African-American ever to win Olympic medals in ski racing at the 1984 Paralympics in Innsbruck, Austria. In recognition of this historic achievement, Bonnie was honored at the White House by President George W. Bush, who said, “Bonnie reminds you that individual courage matters in life.” In addition to her success as a Paralympic athlete, Bonnie is the author of six books, a highly sought after keynote speaker, a television and radio personality, a business owner, and the single mother of a teenage daughter. She graduated Magna Cum Laude from Harvard, won a Rhodes Scholarship to Oxford, and served in the White House as a director of the National Economic Council during the Clinton administration. NBC Nightly News called Bonnie, “One of the five most inspiring women in America.” She has been featured extensively in both national and international media including: The Today Show, CNN, CBS Morning News, NBC News, and The New York Times, as well as People, O, and Essence magazines.
JONI EARECKSON TADA
BE AN OVERCOMER
Joni Eareckson Tada, the founder and CEO of Joni and Friends International Disability Center, is an international advocate for people with disabilities. A diving accident in 1967 left Joni Eareckson, then 17, a quadriplegic in a wheelchair, without the use of her hands.
Her best-selling autobiography Joni and the feature film of the same name have been translated into many languages, introducing her to people around the world. Joni has served on the National Council on Disability and the Disability Advisory Committee to the U.S. State Department, and she has received numerous awards and honors. Joni has written over 50 books and she hosts the radio program, Joni and Friends, which is aired on more than 1,000 outlets.