John and Mark X. Cronin served as the graduation speakers at John F. Kennedy Jr. High School in Queens, New York. The father-son founders of John’s Crazy Socks delivered a message of hope and inspiration as the graduates closed out their high school experience and prepared for the next phase in their lives.
John closed out their talk with some heartfelt advice, “Follow your heart. Follow your dreams. Work hard. Show what you can do.”
John F. Kennedy Jr. High School is a public school in Elmhurst, Queens serving students with differing abilities. You could feel the love and joy that runs through the school at the graduation ceremony. John and Mark were followed to the microphone by various school officials and four students who addressed their classmates.
Mark X. Cronin said, “We relish the opportunity to speak with students. We offered a message of hope, gave examples of John and others overcoming obstacles and challenged them to make their mark on the world. For these students with differing abilities, we urged them onward and told them that we need them, we need their contributions and their talents.”
Well-Received Graduation Speakers
This is the second time that John and Mark have spoken at the graduation for John F. Kennedy Jr. High School. Susan Stathopoulos, who organized the event for the school, said, “John and Mark offer such an inspiring message that we love when our students and faculty get to hear them speak.”
Principal Henry Renelus said, “I am always glad to see John and Mark. They offer a powerful message in overcoming obstacles and are great speakers for our graduates to hear.”
The father-son team are sought after speakers and travel across the United States, Canada and Mexico addressing audiences at colleges and universities, conferences and business events. They have spoken at numerous graduations.
John said, “I love speaking with students. We want to applaud their achievements and offer encouragement.”
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 with a mission to spread happiness. Their speaking engagements bring laughter, tears and inspire 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 at virtual 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 on two occasions. 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™. With more than 4,000 socks, John’s Crazy Socks is now the world’s largest sock store. More than half their employees have a differing ability, and their Giving Back program has raised over $600,000 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, TikTok or YouTube channel. You can also contact us at 631-760-5625 or via email at email@example.com.