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An Inspirational “Pair” Visits NMS

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The sixth-graders of NMS were visited by an inspirational pair—John Cronin, of John's Crazy Socks, and his father Mark Cronin—on June 10. John, a young man with Down syndrome, and his father Mark created and run a successful online sock business that all started with desire to inspire others and to spread happiness.

The father and son duo shared their inspirational story with the students, recounting the first stages of their business ideas, the desire to create something that would bring others happiness, and obstacles they faced.

“Not every idea is going to be a good one, so when something fails, you can’t just throw your hands up and quit,” said Mark. “We had to go through a lot of ups and downs to get to where we are today, but we wouldn’t trade it for the world.”

The business itself is currently the largest sock store in the world with 2,300 different styles to choose from. John’s Crazy Socks also has many designs that raise awareness and support for disabilities such as Down syndrome and autism. Additionally, they have recently begun selling greeting cards.

John’s Crazy Socks holds tightly to their mission—spreading happiness and demonstrating what people with intellectual disabilities can do. In the spirit of this mission, more than half of the business’ employees have different disabilities, and five percent of all earnings are donated to the Special Olympics. John and his father also travel the country encouraging others and raising awareness.

“We want to show the world what is possible!” John told the students, raising his fist into the air.

At the culmination of the event, students asked John questions regarding his inspiration, what he likes most about creating socks, and more. Some students even showed off some of their own John’s Crazy Socks, and presented him with a gift—a Northport Middle School hat.

“Having John and his father visit was such an inspiration,” said sixth-grade teacher Jeannette Conroy-Teri. “Life-stories like John’s reinforce empathy, acceptance, and perseverance in our students, and is so important for their development as kind, empathetic human beings.”