Beanstalk Foundation

What's right with Colorado is right next door.

Firefly Autism

Serving Children and Families touched by Autism

Firefly Autism applies a unique new strategy to autism programming

Firefly Autism is a Denver-based 501c3 nonprofit organization focused on raising awareness for and serving children and family affected by autism. They've served thousands of children over 14 years (averaging 200 - 250 children each year), supporting and transforming the lives of family members and friends, through their center programs, home programs, consultations, trainings, and therapies. Firefly gives parents the option to access learning programs, therapy, respite, and consultation services in one place. Moreover, reduced stress and travel time for both parents and children has a consequent positive impact on family life.

Through school-aged program, Firefly Autism have worked with over 17 school districts and in four countries to provide consultation and support to teachers and educational staff and to specific autism programs, from 11 school districts and three states. At Firefly Autism, they believe in treating the whole person; in school, home, and in the community. They provide wraparound services for the family, wherever the need arises. And their Home-Based Services team works with the entire circle of supports to help enhance leering opportunities in every aspect of the lives of the individuals they serve.
Firefly offers a variety of services to meet the dynamic needs of the autism community, which they know is an incredibly diverse group. What all of their services have in common is their focus on transforming the lives of children with autism. By partnering with families, they are able to create life-long relationships through our thoughtful, innovative and empirical learning programs.

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, 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.