John and Mark X. Cronin, co-founders of John's Crazy socks, had the opportunity to speak to students at William Floyd High School on Long Island. Over 100 students and their teachers filled the school auditorium to hear not only the inspiring story of how John created a business with his father, but to learn about the power of a social enterprise and the benefits of hiring people with differing abilities.
Part of our mission at John’s Crazy Socks is to show what is possible for people with differing abilities. We bring that message to other businesses, policy makers and government leaders. But part of that mission is showing people with differing abilities what opportunities are available to them. And part of that mission is connecting with other entrepreneurs to show what impact they can have on the world. That is why John and mark speak at hi9gh schools, colleges and universities across the U.AS. and around the world.
“I love speaking to students,” said John Cronin, co-founder of John’s Crazy Socks. “I want them to know what they can do when they finish school.”
Carmella Currao, the special education teacher who arranged the event, said “We started working on this program in August. We wanted our students to hear first-hand from John and Mark what possibilities await them after graduation. You could tell by the questions how interested the students were. And John and Mark took the time to answer each question in full. It was so wonderful.”
The Cronins broke their presentation into four parts:
- Telling the story of how John’s Crazy Socks got started
- Sharing how they built a social enterprise with a mission to spread happiness
- Sharing how they have created a unified workplace where over half their colleagues have a differing ability
- Sharing the opportunities that await students in the future.
The students came from the special education classes as well as the entrepreneurism program at the school.
“We love speaking with entrepreneurs, “said Mark X. Cronin. “That’s our tribe. We want these aspiring business leaders to know about the impact they can have on the world.”
After their talk, John posed for pictures with the students. One student hugged John and told him, “Thank you. You inspired me.”
Keynote and Event Speakers
John and Mark X. Cronin are frequent speakers at conferences and corporate events. They share their entrepreneurial story of how a young man with Down syndrome together with his father created what is today the world’s largest sock store all with a mission to spread happiness. Their speaking engagements bring laughter, tears and move people to see what is possible for each of us to achieve. They have spoken in person at events across Canada, the United States and Mexico and have spoken virtually at events around the world. They have spoken at events for Microsoft, EY, Bank of America, the Special Olympics and the National Down Syndrome Society among others.
Their advocacy work has seen the Cronins testify twice before Congress and speak at the United Nations. Their work has been featured on many national news shows. They are winners of many awards including the EY Entrepreneurs of the Year. They serve on the CEO Commission for Disability Employment and the Neurodiversity at Work Business Roundtable.
John and Mark recently recorded their second TEDx Talk entitled, “Hiring People with People with Differing Abilities is Not Altruism, It Is Good Business.” That Talk is available on YouTube and the TED platform. Their first TEDx Talk entitled Differently Abled People Want to Help Us is also available on YouTube and the TED platform.
About John’s Crazy Socks
John’s Crazy Socks was inspired by John Lee Cronin, a young man with Down syndrome, and his love of colorful and fun socks—what he calls his “crazy socks.” He and his father, Mark X. Cronin, started the company as a social enterprise with a mission of Spreading Happiness™. They do this by offering socks people can love that allows an expression of one’s true self. More than half their employees have a differing ability, and their Giving Back program has raised over $475,000 for charity partners like the Special Olympics, the National Down Syndrome Society and the Autism Society of America. Most of all, they are Spreading Happiness™.
For more information about John’s Crazy Socks, visit our webpage, Facebook page, Instagram account or YouTube channel. You can also contact us at 631-760-5625 or via email at email@example.com.