Xavier Cooper is a former NFL player, investor, and co-founder of the scholarship fund Everyone Learns Differently. Although he’s not as active in the media as other professional athletes, Xavier’s reputation precedes his admirable character and ability to inspire others. As a dyslexic, bi-racial, and “at-risk” kid from Tacoma, WA, Xavier was always too big and different to truly fit in anywhere. However, he found an outlet in sports, where could prove his worth on the field.
Xavier went on to become a Pac-12 honorable mention at Washington State University where he played college ball but this progression was far from linear. Xavier struggled to become qualified to play with the NCAA due to his learning disabilities and grades. Nevertheless, in 2015, Xavier was drafted by the Cleveland Browns and spent four years in the NFL with stints with the San Francisco 49ers and the New York Jets. In 2016 he finished his Bachelor’s degree in Criminology from WSU, all the while he watched many of his peers end up in prison, some serving life sentences. This is something that never left Xavier, with the same systems in place working against him, he could have easily ended up like some of his friends which is why Xavier has always been involved in community work, in his hometown, and in every state he’s played for.
In 2019, Xavier decided to open the Everyone Learns Differently scholarship fund to support students with learning differences, have experienced time in the juvenile justice system, or students who struggle in school due to social, personal, or financial challenges. And has since passed out three scholarships to students pursuing higher education.
Xavier has been speaking professionally to large audiences for over 7 years. From the national stage of the NFL to local community events and conferences. Xavier’s words have moved many, including his former high school, Wilson, to change its name to Silas High School in honor of an influential figure in the community after discovering the school was named after a president with a racist past- making a lasting impact wherever he speaks. By sharing his story, Xavier inspires others to embrace their differences and live in their truth, identity, and sense of self-worth.
Categories: Black History Month, Educator, Educator - Differentiated Instruction, Educator - Motivation and Inspiration, Leadership, Motivation, New to AEISpeakers, Sports