Pastor Herron Gaston
Contact Pastor Gaston
Once Herron Gaston puts his mind to doing something- no matter how challenging- no one can dissuade him. He has the tenacity of a bulldog. He's a powerful, dynamic speaker, life coach, scholar, minister, and mentor. He is on a mission to transform lives. After All, Herron didn't earn a master's degree in Public Administration and Political Science by the age of 21 by taking the easy road. He didn't help underprivileged youth in his hometown by being easily discouraged.
Herron is a Yale University graduate student and Florida A&M University Honors Program and Summa Cum Laude graduate. While a student at Florida A&M University, he worked for the prestigious Public Affairs Consultants lobbying firm under the leadership of senior lobbyist Jack and Keyna Cory. He was also selected to be a member of the highly competitive Gubernatorial Fellows Program, where he worked as a Legislative Analyst for the Florida Department of Corrections. At the Department of Corrections, Herron reported directly to then Chief of Staff Bonny Rodgers, Secretary Walter McNeil, and Deputy Secretary Richard Davidson. He has also interned for Florida Senators Larcenia Bullard, Gary Siplin, Fredrica Wilson and Alfred Lawson.
Herron's work ethic is well known in his home town of Haines City, located in Polk County, Florida. In Haines City, Herron partnered with a local church to assist underprivileged youth who were falling through the cracks gain admittance into college. Over the past few years, the program has grown from working with five young residents to more than 200.
Herron has also interned at Personal Responsibility Education Program, a program also known as the Prep Project, where he educates youth and formerly incarcerated men and women on sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). He is also a 2013 fellow for the prestigious Hispanic Summer Program and will be studying at the Oblate School of Theology in San Antonio, Texas, where he will further conduct research on the prison industrial complex, its effects on people of color, and the role religion plays in advocating on behalf of those who have been locked out, silenced, and rendered invisible.
Your audience will be completely engaged and inspired hearing Herron share how after being wrongfully incarcerated and hitting rock bottom emotionally, coming close to being molested behind bars, and who at the time experienced suicidal thoughts, which shaped his advocacy against all forms of victimization and injustice.
He has long been driven to help people in his community, regardless of ones' socioeconomic status, diversity of religion, sexual orientation, and physical abilities. Herron is a strong believer that "none of us got to where we are along." "We got here because others saw our abilities, and our potential. They saw the person we are and the person we can be."
Seeing the potential in people is a key facet of Herron's work with Gaston Justice Coalition Group, LLC. With his combined experience working for a lobbying firm and the Department of Corrections, he's continuing to work on ways to reduce recidivism rates and assist released prisoners in becoming productive members of society.
If Herron's passions, which are community organizing, the legal system, and the ministry, sound familiar to you it's not entirely a coincidence. In 2008, Herron was the Co-Chair for the Communications and Canvassing Council in Florida, which played a crucial role in encouraging voters to use the power of the polls. In addition to all his academic, professional, and personal accomplishments, Herron is also involved in many civic organizations, including:
The Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Incorporated
Mr. Trio Scholars Association, President
Phi Alpha Delta Law Fraternity, International
Phi Sigma Theta National Honors Society
Alpha Kappa Mu Honor Society
Golden Key International Honor Society
Charter Member of Omicron Delta Kappa National Leadership Honor
Society (FAMU chapter)
White and Gold Honor Society
The National Scholars Honor Society
Yale University's John Lewis Literary Society
Yale Divinity School Diversity Committee member
Yale Divinity School Student Council member
Yale Divinity School Yale Black Seminarians, 2012-2013 Chaplin
Haines City High School Advisory Council
Haines City Revitalization Committee
Cambridge Who's Who Among American College Students
Gubernatorial Fellows Class V
My goal is to build coalitions to ultimately eradicate the prison industrial complex, eliminate pretrial detention, and reallocate jail funding to create drug treatment centers and invest in social welfare programs, such as schools and mental health services. While also eradicating stereotypes of people of color, poor people, queer people, immigrants, youth, and other oppressed communities as criminal; delinquent, or deviant.
Herron resides in Bridgeport, Connecticut. But is only one flight away from your destination