Annual Giving Impact Story: Jerry Autry, Class XXXV
Jerry moved to Houston ten years ago, and has enjoyed a career in Human Resources while starting a non-profit here to tackle a need he saw through his work. Jerry founded Suits for Sons to address the look, tools, culture, example, and means of success for young men in the Greater Houston Community. Through his work on Suits for Sons, Jerry realized that he lacked a context of the city within which his organization operated and that it could better address its mission if it were more closely aligned with Houston. His experience in Leadership Houston has turned out to be personal, professional, and has supported the work of his non-profit.
After applying to and accepting a place in this year's Leadership Houston Class XXXV, he attended the class’ opening retreat. He shared that the outdoor challenge course proved to be nothing less than a catalyst for his work beyond Leadership Houston. High in the air, jumping off a platform for a ring proved more terrifying than expected, but his ability to overcome that fear and make the leap was “real and transferable” for him. Jerry shares that the experience helped him understand that he “had the support system that he needed” and has since made leaps for himself and for Suits for Sons.
Beyond his personal experience, Jerry has been exposed to systems and people within Houston that have lead him to become more involved in his community. Beyond getting involved himself, he feels that he can “now be an ambassador” and help others understand how to effectively get involved in the community. Whether it is joining city committees, engaging with local non-profits, or networking across groups, Jerry’s experience with Class XXXV has developed his connection with the Greater Houston Community.
As we were wrapping up our conversation, Jerry shared a final experience: he attended a Diwali New Year event on Halloween. Moments like these are “life changing” and had he not met his classmate, Swati, this along with countless other moments would not be occurring.
Jerry is confident that the content he gains and the connections he makes will increase his impact on our community. He is one of 48 Houstonians sharing this experience right now and is an example of the kind of experiences we work to create at Leadership Houston. Thank you for being a part of that work - your support of our Annual Giving Campaign makes this possible.