Digital Arts Student Designs Socks for Autism Awareness
August 3, 2021
Jacob Greene, a student in the digital arts program, landed an internship with John’s Crazy Socks as the company’s newest differing abilities design employee for summer 2021. Greene will use his fine arts skills to develop graphic designs that will be printed on the company’s apparel.
John’s Crazy Socks was founded by John Lee Cronin, a young man with Down syndrome, and his father, Mark X. Cronin, with the business model of offering jobs to people with differing abilities. As the economy bounces back from the COVID-19 pandemic and employers seek to fill positions, these workers bring a unique background and skillset to the table that can help to diversify the workforce.
“My internship is remote. I work with a team of designers and buyers who provide me with a design assignment. I then send them samples of my graphic designs through email and await their feedback,” said Greene. “Sometimes, they ask me to make changes to my sock design, and I email those updates to them.”
Greene, who holds an associate’s degree in computer arts from Suffolk County Community College, has big plans for after December when he is expected to graduate and receive his B.F.A. “My aspirations after graduation are to continue with some additional graphic design jobs. I would like to continue producing animated shorts, and I’m also interested in illustrating children’s books.”
“We are glad to have Jacob join us for the summer,” said John in an article posted on John’s Crazy Socks’ website. “He will design great socks that our customers will love, and he is helping us with our mission to show the world what people with differing abilities can do,”
“I’m learning a lot through the collaborative process of design with the team at John’s Crazy Socks,” said Greene, who is working on new designs for the Autism Awareness Socks collection, among other designs. “My internship will help me achieve these goals by providing me with experience in working for a company whose employees are supportive in collaborating with me and lending their experience in design.”
As members of the CEO Commission on Disability Employment and the Autism @ Work Business Roundtable, John’s Crazy Socks donates five percent of their earnings to the Special Olympics, as well as other charity partners like the National Down Syndrome Society. The company also sponsors the Autism Can Do Scholarship, a $5,000 grant awarded to a person on the autism spectrum to further his or her education.
Learn more about Greene’s internship success.