(DOUG JESSOP JESSOP’S JOURNAL) In this thirty minute episode of Jessop’s Journal we feature powerful, positive, and inspirational folks including an interview with a woman that not only has a powerful story, she also has a powerful voice and is our musical guest.

Some people can see situations and possible solutions in different ways. It’s called neuro diversity. Mark Mauzy is making a difference with resources for families dealing with autism.

While we are on the subject we visit with an inspirational woman that says that her autism is her superpower.

But first, Mac.

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Sometimes you meet someone that goes by only one name – Cher, Bono, etc. As you might guess, most of those people are singers. In the case of “Mac” the tradition continues.

I met Mac at the NAACP MLK Awards a couple of years back. The room was filled with first responders that were being honored as well as a bunch of dignitaries. Dishes were clanking and a lull roar of voices filled the room as the luncheon proceeded. The musical guest was announced. A woman started singing and something special happened – immediately there was a hush in the room. All heads turned to hear the powerful voice of a woman that goes by the name “Mac”. She performed her rendition of the inspirational John Legend song “Glory”. The screen behind her flashed iconic images of the civil rights movement. As the last note reverberated through the room everyone in the room raised to their feet and gave Mac a thunderous standing ovation. I still get chills thinking about that performance.

One thing led to another, and I ended up interviewing Mac and she shared a very moving story about the first time she experiences racism.

On a sidebar – as most people know, I’m the #tvhatman. It was serendipitous that as I was entering the event there was another gentleman wearing a fedora. Of course, I introduced myself and found out that Everett Lavell Spencer was a local actor and musician that goes by the stage name “The Messenger.”

Everything matched together when I spoke to both Mac and The Messenger and on a whim asked them how they felt about performing together. They hadn’t met each other. Watch this episode of Jessop’s Journal and I think you will agree that they make a pretty good combination.

Of by the way, yes…Mac and The Messenger are my musical guest and yes, Mac performed “Glory” for me.

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I’ve joked for years that I’m paid to talk. The longer I’ve been a broadcaster, the more I have come to realize that my favorite thing is to actually help other people to talk. Everyone truly does have a story. Even if they don’t think they do.

We all have something that we are dealing with at some time or another. I have found that it helps people to know that they are not alone in what they may be experiencing. I’m not saying I know how anyone feels exactly, but what I have observed is that there are some general experiences that some people have that when shared may give other people understanding and even hope.

Mark Mauzy is one of those humble people. We met while I was doing research on a manufacturing news story. Come to find out that Mark had a interesting childhood with a father that mental health issues. Mark also deals with dyslexia.

In the ultimate exercise of making lemonade out of lemons, Mark used what he calls his “3D thinking” to learning. He ended up getting a PhD in the counseling field and practice for many years. He ended up sharing some tips on helping marriages in this episode of Jessop’s Journal.

What I really love about what Mark is doing is something called GEM Train Autism Guidance (check out GemTrain.org or their YouTube channel) which he explained was “Gems” of wisdom that can “Train” people on a certain topic. The topic Mark has chosen is something near and dear to my heart – training tips for dealing with autism. Hint: if this is a topic that interest you and you want to support Gem Train, they have a link on their website that I invite you to click and put your money where your mouth is.

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Autism. You may know about lack of eye contact and other social skills, but do you know about the unique ability to look at things differently.

Alexis Cruz deals with autism. ABC’s The Good Doctor illustrates the challenges along with the strengths you may not realize about people with autism. We asked her about the character Dr. Shaun Murphy, a young surgeon that has autism. “It blew me away with how accurate it feels. I do really relate to that character as well sometimes.”

The Dr. Murphy character is quite direct; “I have a neurological condition. I will always have it. “

Alexis is not a character of a TV show. She is an example of a young woman living with autism. She told me; “With autism there is no pill.  There is nothing that will help you focus or fix whatever social, communication problems you have. So, we have to cope with that and use that to our ability.”

The video trailer from the Good Doctor flashes the words across the screen “Greatest Challenge” followed by “Greatest Strength.”  Alexis demonstrates the ‘strength’ portion of that statement. “My superpower is autism. With autism, I can see solutions to problems that some people didn’t know existed. I see multiple outcomes of certain things.”

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Consider this your personal invitation to watch this entire episode of Jessop’s Journal and share it with someone that enjoys powerful, positive and inspirational story. Jessop’s Journal airs Sunday mornings at 10 on ABC4 TV and you can watch on-demand at JessopsJournal.com.

Everyone has a story. I strongly feel that “stories have power”. Chances are that if you are going through something, that someone else probably has as well. The shared experiences we humans have can help each other. That my friend makes the point that stories “help us understand each other.”

You don’t have to agree with everyone, but in my opinion, if people would take more time getting to knowing more about others and where they are coming from, we just might find out that we have more similarities than differences.

Jessop’s Journal is something special when it comes to broadcast news. I have the honor of being able to do longer in-depth interviews that you don’t normally see with people from all walks of life. A big shout out goes to my collaborator, Ed Wilets, who does a great job as my videographer/editor for all my stories.

Everyone has a Story. Stories have Power. They help us Understand each other. With another entry into Jessop’s Journal I’m Doug Jessop, ABC4 News.

*** Jessop’s Journal is a copyrighted production of Fedora Incorporated ***

Jessop’s Journal is a collection of Powerful, Positive and Inspirational Stories made possible by the generous support of Tatt2Away, XLEAR, Millcreek Gardens and LIFE Never Boring.