The Palestine Herald, Palestine, Texas

Local Scene

January 26, 2013

Breaking the cycle: SIXERinc program offers sports, future to area teens

PALESTINE — It’s an idea that began like anything else, as a conversation between friends.

These were friends with stories to tell. They’d made it out, and now they wanted to show others how they could too.

That, in a nutshell, is the origin story of SIXERinc, a non-profit group based in Palestine and founded by Palestine High School alum Jonathan Cary.

On the surface, SIXERinc looks, simply, like a basketball program for area teens. But to Cary, it’s more than that. It’s a vehicle for breaking a cycle that he knows all too well.

“I’m going to be honest, it’s me. It’s everything that got me to this point right now,” Cary said. “If you just truly look at the roots of it, using myself and (Palestine-native) Adrian (Peterson), it’s a testament to education and athletics.

“He had his athletic ability and got his education at Oklahoma and is now a star running back in the NFL. I used my athletic ability to get my education and I’m now in the business world.”

Cary graduated from Rice University, an education he achieved thanks to his ability on the football field, which earned him a football scholarship.

That, Cary said, changed his stars so to speak. It allowed him to see past the future he thought he would have and realize that he could have any future he wanted.

That’s what inspired SIXERinc, he said. He wants to give local youths that same ability to see past what’s visible and move toward what’s possible.

“I want them to know that people from like circumstances — single parent (households), around drugs or alcohol, a household where advanced education isn’t pressed upon — there’s more to getting a job than what they see in Palestine.

“There are jobs that you might not otherwise know about if you don’t get out and see them.”

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