Ryan Mescher ’23 had good reason to figure out a solution to a real-life problem facing many families.
In 2017, Ryan had been playing in his front yard with his siblings when his brother Anderson, who has autism, wandered off. The term “elopement” refers to this exact scenario — when an individual with cognitive challenges or special needs runs off or wanders away from their caregiver. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, nearly half of children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) have attempted elopement or have successfully eloped from a safe place.
“Once he was found, I began brainstorming how I could keep him and many other children safe,” Ryan said. Ultimately, he came up with Boomers — boxer briefs that have a small pocket designed to hold a GPS tracker — to keep kids like Anderson safe and to give families like his peace of mind.
“The idea to put a tracker in a pair of boxer briefs came from a sudden realization that underwear is the one clothing garment that everyone always has on day or night. I realized then that if I can put a tracker on a pair of boxer briefs, then families could have constant access to where their children are.”
Rather than start a business, “I decided to make Boomers a nonprofit because I didn't want this to be an opportunity for me to benefit. Instead, I wanted this to be strictly for the community and their needs.” Boomers Inc. is set up for families with autistic children to apply to receive a free one-year package, which includes five pairs of briefs, a Jiobit GPS tracker, and a one-year subscription to Jiobit’s service.
“Gilman reminds me daily that I can make a difference in my community and do something great,” Ryan said. “I was always taught excellence in everything that I do. Having this mindset throughout this project helped me to persevere and find a solution.”
Read the article about Ryan in the Severna Park Voice and learn more about Boomers Inc.