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


By Jane Moss

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

Matt attended both Mark DeLay School and Eisenhower Junior High (K-8), graduating from EJH in 2002. Matt has special memories of the relationships formed during his years in District 61 and the guidance 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 High School 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 his goal to earn 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, he said head coach Terry 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 “Dedication to IU Football” Award, which exemplifies leadership, courage and work ethic, 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 path once again. Soon after, Matt was invited to speak at a youth leadership conference. The invitation came as a complete surprise. After speaking at the conference, Matt realized he had a passion for public speaking, sharing his story and instilling in others 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, participating in events across the country and internationally. That football injury made him realize that he had the ability and now the opportunity to motivate others to follow their dreams. He has 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, showing readers how to overcome adversities and achieve success in business and in life. The book is filled with motivational strategies that can benefit everyone. He also writes a widely read column for Entrepreneur.com and has been featured on many media outlets.

Matt is CEO of Matt Mayberry Enterprises, a training and consulting company. He 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 more great things about Matt in the future.