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Called to Serve

Firefly Autism Executive Director Jesse Ogas defends those who need it most

"No aye mal, porque bien no venga!" is a phrase Jesse Ogas grew up hearing from his mom. It translates to "There is nothing bad, that good can't come out of!” and Jesse has spent more than 30 years of his life finding, defending, and uplifting every bit of good he’s found in every situation. 

Inspired from youth by his mother, who would drag Jesse along with her to meet and spend time with elders in their New Mexico community, he grew up on a steady diet of personal stories about life, their struggles, and their successes. As a result, Jesse Ogas grew up believing in the power of doing for others, and how through helping people, we become better people ourselves. You’ll understand this fundamental aspect of Jesse immediately, through his warm smile, his attentive energy, and a genuineness that resonates from his core.

Jesse has spent his career doing for others. In more than 30 years of giving back, he has worked with people with developmental disabilities, helped LGBT youth through the difficulties of growing up, worked with abused women’s shelters, fought for physically and sexually abused children, supported senior citizens, worked to impact mental health, advocated for motorcyclist safety and most recently raised awareness for children with autism and their families. In each of these “bad situations,” Jesse has heeded his mother’s words and has been a beacon of good.

And today, there is no roadblock, no bad too big to stop Jesse Ogas. With Firefly, he works to build awareness--and change institutional perception--about what Autism is and isn’t. It’s a hard job, changing the minds and understanding of those that surround you, but Jesse says, “I continually welcome the challenge to educate and create pathways of collaboratives that will serve the broader community down the road.”

That’s because Jesse believes that it’s “all about relationships.” He works tirelessly to build connections, find common ground, and seek out compatriots, and it’s working. Jesse’s golden tongue and overt compassion combine to make him a truly charismatic force for Good.