Xceptional HeroesA Common Bond


Xceptional Heroes is a group of friends, family members and individuals who are passionate about supporting young adults who have intellectual disabilities (ID). The group was founded in 2016 by Jen Silverton and Teresa White – two moms raising sons Aidan and Tyler – who realized the socialization and relationship void left in their sons’ lives after graduation. The organization began as a private social group to provide a variety of life-enrichment opportunities for young adults with ID.

With the help of donations and grants, Xceptional Heroes was established as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit in 2021. The organization’s mission is to provide social, recreational and life skill opportunities for adults with disabilities such as Down Syndrome, Autism, Fragile X Syndrome and others. “Teresa and I were both raising adult sons with ID,” Silverton explains, “and without the structure of school, there was nothing for them to do. We saw the need and it has continued to grow.” Currently, there are 1,000 members who support the cause. And while it started in Grand Blanc, it has branched out to offer the program to all of Genesee County with Xceptional Heroes North serving the population in the Clio – Montrose area.



How did they choose the name for their organization? “We feel our people are heroic and we wanted a name that reflected that,” Silverton shares. They operate with a six-member board of directors, not all of whom are caregivers. Volunteers and family friends help facilitate the program. “Some people are just passionate about the cause,” says the co-founder.


“It is a beautiful thing to witness a Hero coming to their first event and watch them evolve and see how their sense of belonging develops.”

Jen Silverton, Co-Founder


(L-R) Co-Founders Jen Silverton & Teresa White

Silverton lists the many fun social events offered to the Xceptional Heroes such as bowling, game nights, bingo, craft days, social circles, movie outings and dining at area restaurants. Working on a tight budget, they rely on volunteers and donations, she reports. The organization provides activities three to five days a week and they post a monthly calendar on social media. The March calendar of activities includes bowling, lunch & movie day, a fitness hour, yoga and pickleball. They also have a monthly social event with music and dancing. “We offer something for everyone!” Silverton exclaims. The events are held all around Genesee County.

Xceptional Heroes has a vision for the future, including the possibility of operating in a permanent building where they can provide recreational and possibly residential opportunities and a variety of services. “We are considering all kinds of options,” Silverton shares. “Residential communities are popping up all over the country.”

One of the biggest challenges is lack of transportation to the events, as most of the individuals do not drive. “This has been a huge obstacle,” Silverton states. “We want to get a van and it is on our radar. Lack of transportation inhibits participation.”



Watching the Heroes form friendships has been most rewarding, Silverton notes. “It is a beautiful thing to witness a Hero coming to their first event and watch them evolve and see how their sense of belonging develops. They are young adults – they want their caregivers to drop them off at our events. They want to be on their own.”

“I love our Heroes, seeing them laugh and smile, watching them grow,” says Silverton. “It is in my blood. This is my passion.”

Support Xceptional Heroes at Galaxy Lanes on April 7 from 1-3pm sponsored by Pins for a Purpose and Above Par Disc Golf Club. Tickets are $20 and 100% of proceeds go to XH!


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