Jennifer Ayers-Moore, the founder of the Friends Of Ayers Foundation works devotedly to help families understand what services are available to them for support and services and that they are not alone. The foundation will promote innovation, support campaigns to provide awareness to agencies that are offering support to families and their loved ones who have a mental health condition, including all forms of art to enhance the therapy already being provided.
Jennifer has been introduced as a “Keynote” speaker for many events and developed many valuable friendships from her travels that she cherishes, all to influence partnership, showing how important support is and will always be. Jennifer Ayers-Moore, is an alumni of Kent State University and National Louis University, she has a Bachelors degree in Behavioral Science. Ayers-Moore has many years of experience as a teacher, counselor, program developer, program manager, and has taken the lead for many successful drives to support the homeless, hungry, children in foster care and continues to advocate for those who have been diagnosed with a mental health condition, as well as their family’s. Ayers-Moore is also an active blogger, and produces a podcast (Hear The Music, “Conversations With”) speaking with individuals who willingly share their stories in their mental health journey, and sharing her experiences, as a sibling and encouraging others to do the same.
Jennifer’s brother is Nathaniel Ayers, he is the subject of the book and film The Soloist. Nathaniel developed schizophrenia while he was a student at The Juilliard School in New York where he studied classical music playing the double bass, he played in the school orchestra, along side YoYo Ma and Joseph Russo. It was in his junior year when his health began to manifest signs. Nathaniel’s illness not only changed his life, it devastated the family. Particularly Jennifer, as they are extremely close. Jennifer had to find a way to understand and cope. It was not an easy journey and she will admit it is on going. Ayers-Moore’s mother, Floria, never gave up trying to help her son, and Ayers-Moore became her emissary, writing letters and making contact with anyone who would listen to their family’s plight. She became her mother’s ally, accompanying her when Nathaniel was probated, committed to mental institutions, or admitted to hospitals for treatment. Keeping journal notes. Ayers-Moore documented the pain the family underwent, while continuing to look up to her mother as a role model and visiting Nathaniel faithfully. Ayers-Moore is the author of the book, “Hear The Music, memoirs from the sister of The Soloist,” which give a detailed account of her experience of the journey with her brother.
After Ayers-Moore’s mother died, Nathaniel disappeared, ending up homeless and on Skid Row, in Los Angeles, California. Ayers-Moore never lost hope that she would one day hear from her brother. When she received a call from Los Angeles Times journalist, Steve Lopez stating that “he had befriended Nathaniel” and wanted to write a series of articles about him, Ayers-Moore was delighted. Eventually, Lopez wrote a book, The Soloist, and a movie bearing the same name was produced. Not wanting the book and film to come and go Ayers-Moore continues to work toward the goal of helping all “Hear The Music” and to “STOP STiGMA!” With that thought in mind she continues to share and speak out. Ayers-Moore continues to support her brother and create ways to support other families, she understands that family dynamic and struggle and is working hard to connect with other organizations to develop partnerships to make resources more obtainable.
Ayers-Moore is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. and enjoys working in golf, playing golf, repairing and making golf clubs. And of course Jennifer is a graduate of the John Hay Class of 1973!