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Xerxes Whitney  

Poet, Teacher, Coach, Athlete and Motivational Expert

Born with cerebral palsy which affects muscle coordination, Xerxes has learned to embrace his challenges and spiritedly encourages others to do the same. He has a unique attitude which he applies to turning his ordeals into great opportunities.

Fifteen years ago he faced considerable resistance attaining his dream job as a college tennis coach and pledged to himself not to let prejudice and discrimination get in his way.

Looking for answers, Xerxes started writing and sharing his poetry about his internal and external challenges. And in 1999, Xerxes published his first book called “What’s Your Name?”.

He discovered that the more he shared about his vulnerabilities, the more he gained a sense of control and power over his life. He was owning his circumstance and life started to blossom.

Xerxes was finally hired at Windsor Middle School in 2000 where he has taught physical education to thousands of students. He spearheaded the building of a climbing wall at their gym and has been named Teacher of the Year and High School Tennis Coach of the Year in the Sonoma County League.

Xerxes is an avid runner who has completed five marathons, published poet, tennis coach, and TEDx speaker. He aims to encourage others, no matter what challenges they may face, to embrace vulnerability and bust through these challenges with confidence, courage and authenticity.

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Speech Topics


Busting Through - Stop fighting, Start embracing

Embracing yourself through your authenticity

Turning Weaknesses into Strength

Finding Your Inspiration

The Key to Accepting Yourself and Others

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