Jessica is recognized internationally as an inspirational keynote speaker. Born without arms, Jessica Cox could have succumbed to the low expectations that ushered her into this world. In spite of them all, she earned two black belts in Taekwondo, graduated from college, and learned to swim, drive a car, fly an airplane, surf, scuba dive, and live independently using her feet in ways others who take their hands for granted can only imagine. She holds the title of the first person without arms to get a black belt in the American Taekwondo Association and the Guiness World Record for the first pilot to fly with her feet.
However, Jessica’s greatest triumph in life stands far above any physical feat. It is her unrepentant regard for herself as a whole person, her high degree of self-acceptance that gives her freedom and power to insist that society accept her, too, just as she is.
- Guinness World Record: The First Armless Person in the World Ever to Have Obtained a Pilot’s License, 2011
- AOPA LIVE Pilots Choice Award 2010: Most Watched Female Aviator
- Filipino Women’s Network: 100 Most Influential Filipino Women in the U.S., 2009
- Published in Ripley’s Believe It or Not, 2009
- The Filipino American Journal Award of Excellence, Outstanding Filipino Award, 2008
When Jessica first walks on stage, the audience has no idea that she doesn’t have arms. Carefully hidden underneath a jacket, she has on her prosthetic arms. Minutes into the introduction, she removes them and begins her speech rightfully titled:
Disarming the Impossible! Corporate Keynote:
Turning “Impossible” into “Accomplishment”
What limits people in your group from attaining their highest potential? How can they push limitations aside?
Jessica believes that by combining creativity, persistence, and fearlessness, nothing is impossible. In her presentation, she digs deep into her experiences living armless in a two-handed world. She shows how these three qualities helped her achieve the seemingly impossible.
Jessica’s elements stem from answering such questions as:
- Are you letting your fears stand in the way of your opportunities?
- Is it easier to come up with an excuse than a creative solution to a challenge?
- What handicaps are you-and others-creating that you don’t need?
- How soon should you give up when confronted with a difficult challenge?
Get Ready to Turn your “I can’t” into “I can!” and “I will!” Youth Keynote: Embracing Differences
Every person on this earth is “different” in one way or another and in one form or another has endured pressure to conform under the threat of rejection and isolation. Students experience the constant pressure to “fit in.” Jessica shares the struggle of masking her difference growing up in a two-handed world but then realizing the importance of being true to who we are as individuals. In order to be a good leader, Jessica believes it is critical to stand up for who it is we are, stand out every opportunity we have, and to stand proud of our differences!
Thinking Outside the Shoe
As a person who has never viewed herself as a victim of her condition, Jessica shares in her speeches humerous stories of struggle and success living in a “two-handed” world. She provides critical insight on how to best approach a challenge, redefining the concept of innovative thinking. She helps people reconnect with their own inner strengths and aptitudes. Jessica believes in combining creativity, desire, persistence and fearlessness; with them, nothing is impossible. In her presentation, she will dig deep into her excperiences living armless in a two-handed world and share how these four elements helped her achieve the seemingly impossible.
Jessica’s points stem from answering such questions as:
- Why is it more important to “fit in” than to stand out and be different?
- Do students act based on what everyone else is doing?
- Who is responsible for standing up for who we are as individuals?
- Why are we so worried about what everyone else thinks?