John Cronin is a 22-year-old man full of life and aspirations who happens to have Down syndrome. He is the co-founder of John’s Crazy Socks which has a mission to spread happiness and John is the Chief Happiness Officer. Part of our goal at John’s Crazy Socks is to empower people and demonstrate the possibilities that each of us possesses. John serves as the face of the company and embodies those qualities in all he does.
John was born with Downs syndrome but does not find that limiting; instead, it is simply a characteristic like you might have red hair or be tall. Yes, he had to overcome some early medical challenges (e.g., intestinal by-pass surgery on his third day and open heart surgery before reaching three months), but since then he has thrived. He is defined less by that genetic condition and more by his enthusiasm, warmth and engagement with the world and the people around him.
To prepare for his current role, John underwent years of schooling. He began his education in the pre-school program at ACDS and still remembers those days fondly. John moved onto the Huntington School system which he completed in June 2017. John’s school work included life skills classes as well as electives such as fashion and photography and he was a proud member of the school chorus. During his last three years in school, John split his days between Huntington High School and Wilson Tech, where he studied office skills and retailing. After school, John participated in the Grand-Friends Club and the Relay for Life events. Wilson Tech named John their Outstanding Student of the Year in 2017.
For a young man, John has strong work experience. In the summer of 2016, he worked in the kitchen of a local day camp, Camp Alvernia. For several years, he worked as the mail clerk at a local law firm. Arriving at the office every day after school, John maintained the mail supplies and stamps and made the daily run to post office, sorting envelopes and packages for the fastest delivery. He also assisted in general maintenance of the office, handling the shredding, running errands and lending a hand whenever he could.
Since an early age, John devoted himself to Special Olympics activities. He engages in snowshoe, basketball, track, soccer, floor hockey and bowling. His efforts have won John numerous medals and invitations to the New York State Games for soccer, track and snowshoe. In fact, John was named an alternate to the U.S. National Snowshoe Team for the Special Olympics World Games in March 2017. He serves as a representative on the New York State Special Olympics Athlete Congress.
John is both the co-founder and inspiration for John’s Crazy Socks. It was John’s deep and abiding love for his “crazy socks” that gave rise to this venture. John has long maintained his personal style that does not conform to whims of the fashion industry or dictates of others: it is a style he makes manifest with his spirit and personality. His colorful, fun and often whimsical socks (Bacon!) are just part of who he is.
Here at John’s Crazy Socks, John does a little bit of everything. He writes thank you notes to customers, does thank you videos, helps fill orders and helps pick out the socks that we will carry in the store. And he’s our ambassador, extoling the virtues, beauty and wonders of socks. John has appeared on numerous television shows and videos for interviews. He’s got his name above the door, so you know he’s checking to make sure we fulfill our promises.
John’s work include advocacy for the rights of people with differing abilities. He works with the National Down Syndrome Society to support their #DSWORKS and End Law Syndrome Campaigns. He has met with members of Congress on multiple occasions representing both the National Down Syndrome Society and the Special Olympics and John testified before the House Committee on Small Business.
John has been fortunate enough to receive many awards and honors for his work. HeartShare Social Services recognized John with their Msgr. Thomas G. Hagerty Humanitarian Award and he earned a “30 Under 30 Young Professional Award” from the Township of Huntington Chamber of Commerce. John is a sought after speaker having spoken at events across the U.S. and in Canada.