Newsmakers Making A Difference: Jack Mayor, Best Buddies

Steve Miller
August 09, 2018 - 7:06 am

WBBM Newsradio/Steve Miller

CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- Some would say 18-year-old Jack Mayor has special needs. But he also has special abilities.

"So I have this calendar trick where I can tell you what day you were born on," he said.

WBBM Newsradio's Steve Miller tells Mayor his birth day and year.  He thinks about it.

"...Five... So that's 28 years.  It would fall on a Wednesday," Mayor said.

Miller: "You're absolutely right."

"I think it's a Wednesday," he said.

But Jack's mother Diana Mayor said things haven't been easy for Jack, like when he started at Neuqua Valley High School in Naperville.

"He ended up...honestly, quite honestly - and we talk freely about it now - suicidal.  Jack was depressed," she said.

Then, they heard about Best Buddies - volunteers who are buddies with people who have intellectual and developmental disabilities.

"Best Buddies not only saved Jack, they saved our marriage.  And they saved our family. Because it's been hard. I mean, it was really, really hard, and Jack will tell you that...I feel like they rescued him.  They gave him a purpose," Diana Mayor said.

Jack Mayor graduated from Neuqua Valley High School, and now he's an ambassador for Best Buddies and on the board.

Best Buddies International is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to establishing a global volunteer movement that creates opportunities for one-to-one friendships, integrated employment and leadership development for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The community they serve includes, but is not limited to, people with Down syndrome, autism, Fragile X, Williams syndrome, cerebral palsy, traumatic brain injury and other undiagnosed disabilities.

Best Buddies is the world’s largest organization dedicated to ending the social, physical and economic isolation of the 200 million people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Their programs empower the special abilities of people with IDD by helping them form meaningful friendships with their peers, secure successful jobs, live independently, improve public speaking, self-advocacy and communication skills, and feel valued by society.

Best Buddies, another Newsmaker making a difference.

As WBBM celebrates its 50th anniversary as Newsradio, this year we’ll be honoring 50 Newsmakers making a difference in the community.  Listen for reports each Tuesday.

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