Portland News

Todd Waites: Musician and Arm Amputee Turned Motivational and Corporate Speaker Impacts Thousands

After spending years of leaving global audiences in awe of his skills as a musician, Todd Waites now focuses on a completely different pursuit: making a difference in the youth through motivational speaking. 

As a professional musician, Todd Waites is known for playing the keyboard at some of the most notable events and stages worldwide. He has toured across the country in front of thousands of people. Todd has worked with some of the industry’s best professionals. He has worked directly with members of Journey, Stryper, Firehouse, Newsboys, Petra, ApologetiX, and many others. On top of that, Todd has collaborated with former members of Bon Jovi, Rick Springfield, and Styx.

Since the early age of four, he has been playing the keyboard, and his passion has remained well into adulthood. However, at 14, Todd Waites suffered from bone cancer and lost his arm and entire shoulder because of the disease. And so the musician had to relearn how to play his instrument. During that time, Todd was bullied and ridiculed by many. Still, he overcame the adversities, brushed off people’s criticisms, and continued to pursue his dreams.

In 2012, Todd Waites decided to divert his efforts to becoming a speaker that would inspire children and youth. His mission is to amplify his message in every school in the country and even abroad. By far, Todd has spoken at poverty-stricken areas, schools that had shootings, and various celebrities’ kids. He connects well with his audience in such a way that he has experienced difficulties firsthand.

Todd Waites is leading the movement and event called True Rockstars Don’t Hate. The program has seen tens of thousands of children in the country and three countries abroad listening to Todd’s message. What began as a vision to connect with young people became a nationwide purpose of impacting lives and changing perspectives to lead more positive lives. 

Being the passionate musician he still is, Todd Waites carries his keyboard to every event to bring music into his presentations. The speaker tackles numerous valuable and profound lessons such as overcoming the effects of bullying, overcoming obstacles, gaining self-esteem, and pursuing dreams. He also covers anti-bullying and rejection topics. Besides that, based on the age group he is addressing, Todd also gives anti-drug and anti-suicide talks.

Simultaneously as he inspires audiences in corporate and motivational speaking, Todd is also continually pursuing his passion for music. He has recently recorded a remake of the song When the Children Cry with the blessing of Mike Tramp, the original songwriter. His rendition of the song, which is available for streaming on YouTube, brings it new life.

Todd Waites understands how debilitating bullying can be to one’s self-esteem. Having suffered cancer and arm amputation during his teenage years, he knows how vulnerable people in that age group can be. And so, Todd does his best to magnify the power of being kind to other people and seeing everybody beyond their circumstances. The speaker encourages his listeners to know that being different is an awesome thing. 

Todd Waites’ audiences, particularly K-12 schools, have praised him for his ability to engage students. His particular way of delivering profound messages incorporated with comedy, real-life stories, inspiration, and a few tears removes any form of intimidation and makes him relatable. Furthermore, Todd can strategically modify his message and his tone to address every age group adequately.

Above anything else, Todd Waites leads people to reach their maximum potential and make them believe that their difficulties are not the end but a window to reveal strength. Regardless of their obstacles, the speaker motivates them to believe in themselves to overcome adversities and chase their dreams.

To learn more about Todd Waites, visit his website.



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