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Matt Mayberry named 2018 “Great Starts in District 61” honoree

Matt Mayberry

by Jane Moss

The Darien District 61 Edu­cational Founda­tion is proud to announce this year’s recipient of its “Great Starts in District 61” recognition award is Matt Mayberry.

Matt attended both Mark DeLay and Eisenhower (K–8). He gradu­ated from Eisenhower in 2002. Matt has special memories of the relation­ships and guidance that he received from all his teachers and coaches. He credits them for helping in his development and setting him up for success down the road.

Matt went on to Hinsdale South where he played baseball and football. Matt started down a path, then realized he needed to change course. With sheer determination and unconditional love and support from his family, Matt set as his goal earning a Division 1 college football scholarship. In his senior year at Hin­sdale South, Matt was recognized with all state honors and was named Suburban Life Player of the Year.

Matt earned that football scholar­ship to Indiana University. At IU Matt’s football coach told him he would be more successful off the field than he would ever be on the field. Coach Hoeppner instilled the motto “Get Better Today” (GBT) in all his players. Matt says he still focuses on GBT every day in all areas of his life.

While at IU, Matt earned the Howard Brown Award which exem­plifies leadership, courage, and work ethic both on and off the field.

After graduation, Matt signed to play for the Chicago Bears, a dream come true. But an injury in his first pre-season game ended his football career.

Devastated, Matt was forced to change his life’s plan. Soon after, Matt was invited to speak at a youth leadership conference. This invita­tion came as a complete surprise. After speaking at this conference, Matt found he had a passion for speaking to people, sharing his story and instilling in them the belief that they can be their best even though they may have experienced failure or bad luck.

By working with great mentors, and committing much time and effort, Matt has become a highly regarded motivational and keynote speaker traveling internationally. That football injury made him real­ize that he had the ability, and now the opportunity to motivate others to follow their dreams. He used his own triumphs and challenges to show others how to create lasting and meaningful success.

Matt published his first book, Winning Plays, in 2016. Matt tells his story and shows readers how to overcome adversities and achieve success in business and in life. This book is filled with motivational strategies that can benefit everyone. Matt is working on a second book expected to be published in 2019.

Matt writes a widely read column for and has been featured on many media outlets.

Matt is CEO of Matt Mayberry Enterprises, a training and consult­ing company.

Matt was inducted into the Hins­dale South Athletic Hall of Fame in 2016.

The Great Starts program is an ex­cellent way to connect with former students and to see the impact our schools and their programs and the staff have on our students.

The Darien District 61 Educa­tional Foundation is honored to recognize Matt Mayberry as the 2018 Great Starts honoree and the exciting journey he has taken since moving on from District 61. We look forward to hearing great things about Matt Mayberry in the future.

Jane Moss is a member of the Darien 61 Educational Foundation Board of Directors.