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Jerry Mack Day is a celebration of love

Posted at 5:25 PM, May 31, 2024

BALTIMORE — It isn't your typical field day at Connexions Community Leadership Academy.

It is the second annual Jerry Mack Day, which means it's a fun filled day with activities, a marching a band a torch lighting, but most important is love.

"The way he welcomes everybody into the building and shows everybody love, they just love how he is," said Tanyell Lockett Mack, Jerry Mack's mother.

Jerry is a senior in the Citywide/Life Skills Special Education Program at Connexions. It's a program involving 65 students with severe emotional, physical and intellectual disabilities.

Throughout his time here, his mother says he's evolved from being standoffish to a standout.

"With Jerry, you can tell him your name one time and he can remember always. Every day, he will greet everyone every single person coming into the building. That's how it started from him being so kind and loving," said Tanyell.

It's that attitude that led principal Sidney Brooks and staff members to name their field day after Jerry.

"Jerry's a kid that is never down. As educators, we come in, it's a hard job, long days and long nights. No matter what, Jerry always has a smile on his face. He's always cheering everybody on," said Brooks.

Each year the field day is about unity, inclusion and paying homage. This year one of the honorees was a former student who lost her life to street violence.

"The world is in a crazy place and if we allow hate to take over, there's no telling where the future will lie," said Brooks.

Which is why love is the the foundation of Jerry Mack Day.

"It was just an honor it really was. Just to know how my son represents the community," said Tanyell.

As far as what's next for Jerry, Tanyell says the sky is the limit for him. She says he'll take part in a program at the University of Maryland.