Ethan Zohn

Ethan Zohn is a humanitarian, inspirational speaker, and television host; former professional soccer player; cancer survivor, and advocate; thee time contestant of the hit reality television show, CBS’s Survivor and winner of Survivor: Africa. So, what would you do if you won a million dollars? What Ethan Zohn did might surprise you.

Topics

▪Character Development ▪Ethics ▪Entrepreneurship ▪First Year Experience ▪HIV & AIDS ▪Leadership
▪Motivation & Inspiration ▪Service Learning ▪Social Entrepreneurship

Keynotes

▪Isolation Survival Guide
▪A Survivor’s Guide to Life: Outwit, Outplay, Outlead
▪Surviving the Amazing Race of Your College Experience

Keynotes

Ethan’s Bio

Ethan Zohn is a humanitarian, inspirational speaker and television host; former professional soccer player; cancer survivor and advocate; winner of the hit reality television show, CBS’s Survivor: Africa; contestant on season 40 of Survivor: Winners at War, author and inventor; and co-founder of the global non-profit, Grassroot Soccer. He has found purpose through his humanitarian work and community involvement and believes that a better and healthier world can be achieved through education, advocacy, and inspiration.

In 2002, Ethan used a portion of his Survivor: Africa winnings to help found Grassroot Soccer (GRS), an adolescent health organization that leverages the power of soccer to educate, inspire, and mobilize at-risk youth in developing countries to overcome their greatest health challenges, live healthier, more productive lives, and be agents for change in their communities. To date, the organization has reached over 13 million youth in over 60 countries with critical health information, access to health services, and mentorship. Ever the tireless and creative promoter, in 2008, Ethan embarked on a record-breaking 550-mile journey on foot, from Boston, MA to Washington, D.C., dribbling a soccer ball the entire route, to raise money and build awareness for GRS.

In 2009, as a fit, active, 35-year-old former professional soccer player who had traveled the world on behalf of the international health community through Grassroot Soccer, Ethan became an unlikely face of cancer. Diagnosed not once but twice with CD20+ Hodgkin’s Lymphoma in the span of several years, Ethan endured years of aggressive treatment, including two stem cell transplants. Never losing optimism, spirit, or humor despite extraordinary rigors and setbacks, Ethan used his journey and considerable platform to connect with others – young adults in particular – and offer much-needed inspiration, advice, and comfort.

As demonstrated by his charitable work with various global and domestic health and wellness organizations, and community involvement Ethan believes his inspiration to help heal the world stems from being taught at an early age the importance of kindness, community and a connection to social goodness.

Promotional Materials

To help you promote your event with Ethan, CAMPUSPEAK has created promotional templates you can use. In this folder, you will find resources for social media, a promotional poster for printing, and press photos you can use for your event.
Link to Promotional Materials

Logistical Materials

Below you will find logistical resources for the day of your event with Ethan.
In Person Event AV Needs (PDF)
Speaking Introduction (PDF)
Discussion Questions (PDF)

It was such a privilege and honor to have you; a wonderful pleasure to meet you and hear you speak at our fall plenary lecture. You struck a chord in the audience, especially in the students with your inspiring life-story and work. You have given them and us much to think about in terms of how to become a leader, how to engage in the community and how to make a difference in the world following your passion.

Rekha Datta

Director, Institute for Global Understanding, Monmouth University

Ethan delivers a thought-provoking message while asking ‘what would you do if you won a million dollars?’ Ethan is able to seamlessly weave humor, compassion and life experiences throughout his comments. He left the audience wanting more!

Gina Hurny

PSU, University Park

A Survivor’s Guide to Life: Outwit, Outplay, Outlead

In this keynote, Ethan begins with the question, “What would you do if you won a million dollars?” It’s a thought-provoking question that became a reality for the former professional soccer player and coach. After he had won $1-million on Survivor: Africa, Ethan followed his gut and invested his winnings in something much bigger than himself, a non-profit organization called Grassroot Soccer which promotes HIV and AIDS prevention education to Africa’s youth. It was a decision that perfectly matched his values and character: putting his good fortune to work for a cause greater than himself.

That decision alone would make him a compelling speaker on character and service to others, and Ethan was settling into a life of quasi-celebrity and good works. Then in 2009, a less enticing opportunity gave him another chance to serve. In 2009, Ethan was diagnosed with a rare form of Hodgkins Lymphoma. Suddenly, he was fighting to become a “survivor” in a whole new sense. While he endured the rigors of cancer treatment, he became a national spokesperson for Katie Couric’s Stand Up to Cancer organization and kept a weekly video blog on People Magazine’s website. Millions watched Ethan fight the highs and lows of aggressive cancer treatment – his interest in service stronger than ever.

A Survivor’s Guide to Life is Ethan’s chance to share his extraordinary journey with students looking for a way to make a difference in the world. For Ethan, life’s opportunities and challenges were faced with confidence by drawing on his values and character. In the keynote, Ethan delves deeply into the issue of character with his audience: where it comes from, why it matters and how it can help them make important decisions in their lives.

Ethan relates the character-building moments in his life to illustrate how character is built and why it is important to develop, nurture and refine our character throughout our lives. “You never know when you will need the reserves of your character, but when you do, you better be sure you are up to the challenge,” he said.

Character is difficult to define, but Ethan puts it into terms that students can relate to, and he sprinkles in personal stories from Survivor, battling cancer, and other experiences in his unique life. The values of honesty, integrity, friendship and honor—are as important in today’s society as ever.

With his remarkable sense of humor and his honesty, he offers a keynote that inspires students to answer life’s opportunities with strength and conviction of character.

Learning Outcomes

As a result of attending this program, students will learn:

  • specific tools to help use character as a guiding principle in their college journey and to become a better leader,
  • the importance of getting involved on campus through service and charity,
  • how to ensure that all challenges, big and small, turn into opportunities that improve the lives of themselves and others.
Isolation Survival Guide

For Ethan Zohn, winning CBS’s SURVIVOR: Africa was the springboard to an exceptional life of entrepreneurship, social purpose, advocacy, and the prelude to an incredible story, one of perseverance, accomplishment, and enduring spirit in the face of once-unthinkable challenges.

He is an expert at surviving any situation, especially isolation, and has survived the harsh elements of an isolated life on a deserted island during his three seasons competing on the hit
CBS reality show, Survivor Africa, Survivor All-Stars, and the Survivor 40: Winners At War.

A fit, active, 35-year-old former professional soccer player who had traveled the world on behalf of the international health community through his foundation, Grassroot Soccer, Ethan became an unlikely face of cancer. Diagnosed not once, but twice with CD20+ Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, Ethan endured years of aggressive treatment, including two stem cell transplants, over 260 days in isolation, and mandatory social distancing for years following treatment.

Never losing optimism, spirit, or humor despite extraordinary rigors and setbacks Ethan developed the “Isolation Survival Guide” that can help comfort people and communities questioning this uncertain and fearful time of health and social distancing.

Learning Outcomes

As a result of attending this program, students will learn:

  • how to overcome anxiety and the fear of uncertainty,
  • how to be productive and creative in isolation,
  • how to care for others and the importance of focusing on the plight of others helps you heal, and
  • how to be authentic, honest, and laugh more in life
Surviving the Amazing Race of Your College Experience

People love reality TV competitions because they can watch others react to the unknown. As the contestants are forced out of their comfort zone, will they embrace the experience to learn and grow from the challenges, or give in to the drama and fall apart?

Strategy-based TV shows are similar to the incredibly complex world of college life. College is also a game of relationships that one must navigate every day – the relationship with yourself, your professors, your friends and teammates, your fraternity brothers or sorority sisters, and your family and friends back home. Add social media to the mix, and it can feel like your every move is publicly on display – becoming a struggle to get more “likes” and acceptance while also allowing yourself to be compared to and judged by others.

Ethan had very different experiences on two shows, having won Survivor and been embarrassingly eliminated from The Amazing Race in the first few episodes.

Over the last 12 years, his life has played out in TV, print, and social media. Ethan is also no stranger to overcoming challenges off-camera, having experienced the loss of his father at an early age and becoming a two-time cancer survivor. Under these pressures, he learned incredible lessons about forming relationships, building self-confidence, becoming a connected leader, and overcoming obstacles.

In this keynote, Ethan shares his strategies for staying resilient in the face of life’s biggest challenges and creating positive relationships that will help students succeed in college and in life.

Learning Outcomes

As a result of attending this program, students will learn:

  • how to use their time in the college to make a valuable contribution to their personal development and the community around them,
  • how to approach obstacles as opportunities for growth, and
  • how to create a lasting legacy on campus through authentic relationships, leading by example, and serving others.