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Ricardo Lockette
Ricardo Lockette

Ricardo Lockette’s story is one of survival, perseverance and grit.

And now the former wide receiver for the Seattle Seahawks — whose football career was tragically ended after a devastating hit last year in a game against the Cowboys — will join us at the GeekWire Summit on October 4th to share his inspiring story, one which he so eloquently retold in the essay “Am I About to Die?”

Lockette was chosen to speak at this year’s Summit as part of our Geeks Give Back campaign, which raises money for the Washington State Opportunity Scholarship, an amazing program that provides scholarships to underrepresented minorities, women and others who are pursuing degrees in science and technology in Washington state.

Last year’s Geeks Give Back campaign — launched in partnership with Bank of America — mobilized the region’s tech community, raising just over $500,000 for WSOS students. And this year, we are shooting for an even bigger number.

The students who receive scholarships through WSOS are truly inspiring — many are the first in their families to attend college, while others have overcome huge odds to meet with success.

That’s why we are excited to have Lockette at this year’s Summit.

His life and story — not just the injury, but the fact that he was signed as an undrafted free agent out of minor football school and, at one point, was actually cut by the Hawks — embodies grit. He’s overcome big challenges throughout his life, but always kept driving forward, a drive that continues today after his injury. We’ll discuss that determination in a fireside chat session at the Summit, using his story to inspire our audience and the students who benefit from WSOS.

After retiring from football last year following his neck injury, Ricardo founded the Lockette Foundation, which provides memorable experiences to kids who are facing domestic violence or homelessness. He is also a Goodwill Ambassador for the Seattle Science Foundation, which is leading the charge in spinal cord injury research.

The addition of Lockette to the GeekWire Summit lineup reflects our goal of drawing from a variety of perspectives. The conference, the largest of its kind in the Pacific Northwest, takes place Oct. 4-5 at the Sheraton in Seattle.

Lockette joins a number of leading technology, business and scientific heavyweights at this year’s Summit, including Expedia CEO Dara Khosrowshahi; Intellectual Ventures chief Nathan Myhrvold; DARPA chief Arati Prabhakar; Bloomberg Beta founding partner Shivon Zilis; Modumetal Co-founder and CEO Christina Lomasney; Microsoft EVP Peggy Johnson; Airbnb board member Jeff Jordan of Andreessen Horowitz; OfferUp CEO Nick Huzar; and Juno Therapeutics CEO Hans Bishop.

Check out the full lineup of speakers and get more details on the GeekWire Summit event page. We are just two weeks away from the Summit, so make sure to grab your tickets below.

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