LifeChanger of the Year Nominee Profile

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Sandy Austin

Position: School Counselor
School: Pomona High School
School District: Jeffco Public Schools
City, State: Arvada, CO

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Sandy Austin was nominated by a colleague, Angela Cleveland. Cleveland submitted a fantastic video nomination below.


Comments (17)

Marty Loschen Posted over a year ago

Congratulations Sandy I am so proud of you! I am not surprised of your awesome program that you have initiated!!! You certainly are making a positive difference in students life that will last an entire lifetime!! Hugs, Marty Loschen- your former student teacher mentor at Kendrick Lakes

Rebecca Webster Posted over a year ago

Sandy Austin is and amazing person through and through. She makes a powerful difference in the lives of everyone she meets. Her kind heart and motivated spirit are truly inspiring. She cares so much for others, often putting their needs above her own. She always goes the extra mile (and then some). I count my self lucky everyday for the impact ahe has had on my life!!! I met Sandy 12 years ago when I joined the B.I.O.N.I.C Club as a freshman at Green Mountain High School. From the moment I joined she made sure I knew I was appreciated, wanted and welcomed. As she does for everyone she comes across. She makes a great impact and difference every where she goes.

Vanessa Metskas Posted over a year ago

Sandy Austin exemplifies this award. Sandy is someone who see's each and everyone of her 100's of students as her own. She spends countless hours working for her students and they truly become her own "kids". Sandy has one of the biggest hearts I know and she is the most giving person I know. Starting the B.I.O.N.I.C team and tirelessly working hard to make it a non-profit is no easy feat but Sandy has grown this team into one that has impacted so many lives. Ms. A pours her heart and soul into everything she does and easily becomes the mentor that you can only dream of being. I am so fortunate to still be connected to her and its such an honor to watch the continued impact unfold. She is one of the biggest blessings in my life and I wouldn't be where I was today without her today.

KIM O'BYRNE Posted over a year ago

Sandy Austin is a gem of a person. I met Sandy seven years ago when my daughter joined the BIONIC team her freshmen year of high school. One of the BIONIC teams is the loss team and they deliver pies to students who have suffered the loss of a family member. I helped drive students to deliver pies on several occasions and Sandy always had great words of comfort to share with the team members so that they were better able to express their thoughts to the students suffering a loss. I knew this work was important and I admired Sandy for her tireless work to make sure that every student felt valued and cared for. This was especially evident when Sandy and her team delivered a pie to our house after we suffered and unimaginable loss. She always found a way to bring out the best in each person and each situation. Her tireless work and commitment to others is truly remarkable and I wish to thank her for her years of service to others.

Kalyn O'Byrne Posted over a year ago

Sandy Austin is a great candidate for this award. I worked with her for two years on BIONIC team and she was amazing. She cares so much for others. She is one of the most giving people I have ever met. Through BIONIC she has been able to change so many peoples lives! thank you for all that you have done!!!

Maureen Stewart Posted over a year ago

Sandy is counselor extraordinaire! The breadth and depth of her experience as an advocate, change agent, leader and empathetic listener has impacted so many students and adults. Her carefree approachable style, humor and passion, is evident while presenting at state and national counseling conferences, or casual conversation over coffee. She inspires me and my colleagues to “up our game”, to be innovators, seek ways to develop deeper relationships and become better counselors for our most precious commodity - our students! Sandy has the gift of making everyone feel unique and special and I am proud to be a part of any initiative she leads.

Haley Huser Posted over a year ago

Sandy Austin is easily the most giving human being I've ever met. She was my high school counselor during my time at Pomona High School an what a huge blessing that was. I got to experience first hand the level of effort and care she puts forth into helping each and every one of the students of the school. I was very sick during most of my high school career and Ms. Austin did more for me than I could ever thank her enough for. I also had the pleasure of being a part of her organization the B.I.O.N.I.C. Team or the Believe It Or Not I Care Team which is dedicated to improving the lives of others through little acts of kindness. I learned so many lessons from being a part of this organization and I will be applying them for the rest of my life. Ms. Austin puts her heart and soul into this organization just as much as she does her work as a counselor and I know for a fact she experiences many late nights and early mornings working on it so that the organization can grow and have a positive effect on more lives across Colorado, the United States, and the World. Ms. Austin deserves this award because not only has she changed my life and the lives of her past and present students, she has changed the lives of countless people across the globe.

Gage Crispe Posted over a year ago

Sandy Austin is the epitome of what a high school counselor should be. I knew Sandy when I was in high school at Green Mountain High School, where she was my school counselor. While I was in school, I lost a close friend to suicide and had no idea how I should react to the loss. With the help of Sandy, I was able to turn my grief into something positive by getting involved with the club that she founded called Believe It Or Not I Care (B.I.O.N.I.C.). B.I.O.N.I.C. taught me how to reach out to others when they were experiencing hard times, which helped me cope with my own loss. These are skills that I still use today. In addition to her ensuring that I was able to cope with the loss of my friend, she helped me through the application process to college, writing me letters of recommendation for schools and countless scholarships, and helped me stay connected within the community after I graduated. Sandy truly changed my life, and I find it so encouraging to see her continue to do this for other students. You see, for me, Sandy is the person that had the most profound impact on my life, but she does this for students every single day. She shows up when students need her, in anyway she can, and is among the most generous people that I have ever met, especially with her time and energy. I whole heatedly believe that Sandy deserves to be the Life Changer of the Year because she changes students lives everyday. Without her, I would not be the person that I am today. Thanks Sandy, for all that you do!

Steve Sharp Posted over a year ago

've known Sandy Austin as a friend and colleague for the past few years. There are few words to express how amazing she is and a model for educators to aspire to be. Through both grace and insight Sandy empowers not only her students but all those around her to make life-changing result through connectedness and compassion. Not only her experiences as a counselor responding to Columbine, leading the American School Counselor Association Special Interest Network on Crisis Response, or leading career education across the state of Colorado, but her warmth and generosity is why Sandy is deserving of the LifeChanger of the Year. Read about the inspiring work of Bionic Team and the global movement it's creating.

Jane Krauss Posted over a year ago

Sandy Austin's B.I.O.N.I.C teams mobilize students to help students in times of need. Through the Lifechanger award, Sandy's B.I.O.N.I.C program would get the visibility it needs to proliferate across the country. Imagine harnessing the energy of our youth to help during times of tragedy. That's B.I.O.N.I.C. Imagine students practicing empathy, making it more likely that they develop into caring adults. That's B.I.O.N.I.C! Sandy Austin IS B.I.O.N.I.C!

Hazel Black Posted over a year ago

My husband and I are so impressed by what Sandy Austin is doing in the schools. She is full of energy, ideas, inspiration, kindness and love. When she speaks of her B.I.O.N.I.C. program, she lights up for she knows and has experienced the benefits of this "kind", "thoughtful" program - reach out and bless someone. Schools all over the world are contacting Sandy for information. This message of kindness is catching hold!

Fox Dianna Posted over a year ago

I whole heartedly support Sandy Austin for Life Changer of the year award. I have known Sandy for three years and am quite impressed with her dedication to B.I.O.N.I.C. The young people of this world next all the support and encouragement we can give them. Sandy along her students in this program do that . I wish you could see her face light up when she speaks about this program.

Emma Heather Souders Posted over a year ago

Sandy Austin is one of the most amazing people I have ever met, and i’m sure that anyone who has ever know her will agree. She works day in and out for her students, peers, and basically anyone else that crosses her path. Many days of the week she can be found working over-time as late at 10pm on some occasions. I’m a part of the current Pomona BIONIC team and it never stops amazing me and improving. In the BIONIC team you not only make connects with your fellow team memebers but with all the other students BIONIC helps each day. Not only that but BIONIC helps students, like me, learn confidence and responsibility. In BIONIC I have had the opportunity on many occasions to practice public speaking and real life pepole skills. I’ve been able to speak about the good BIONIC is doing and learning to work around my anxiety with public speaking. Not only that but in BIONIC I’ve learned how to run meetings with the teams ivolved in BIONIC and how to run the events those teams hold. All of this amazing stuff would not be even possible without the amazing and loving care of Sandy Austin. Not only does she run BIONIC she also manages to be an amazing counselor to her students and works on trying to start BIONIC as a non profit. How she has the time and energy to do all of this with passion and a smile is absolutely beyond me. As a student I can only dream to be as loving, responsible, and amazing as Sandy Austin.

Jayde Florez Posted over a year ago

Ms. Austin is the most caring and loving person you will ever meet. She is always asking how we are and making sure we are happy and excited about different event at school and in B.I.O.N.I.C. She does so much for us kids, weather it's feeding us during our meetings or just asking if we need help with anything at school. Ms. Austin goes out of her way to set up trips for us to extend our leadership and bind friendships with people outside of our small groups. She's such an outgoing person, where she inspires us to live beyond ourselves. She makes you feel like you have a greater purpose in life than you think you do. My day is always lightened by her smile and her interest in my life, asking how I'm doing and how my family is doing. She makes me feel like anything is possible and any idea is worth listening to. I used to be in a dark place in my life but because of her, I found my light at the end of the dark tunnel. She's everything you wish for in a mother, sister, best friend, and counselor. Someone who is always going to look out for you and help you through any struggle in your life. Her heart is just filled with so much care for others and joy.

Jeremiah Garcia Posted over a year ago

Sandy Austin is committed to changing the lives of her students and those around her. Her ability to inspire a positive difference within the community is truly inspiring and something I will remember for the rest of my life. As a student and a former BIONIC alum, I am in awe of the dedication Sandy exhibits to her work and her students. The BIONIC is truly the light of Pomona High School and my decision to join will remain one of my best.

Scott Posted over a year ago

Sandy is a tireless worker who has such an immense impact on her students and community. She is a valuable resource as a school counselor in Colorado.

Jennifer Correnti Posted over a year ago

A force...that is the first thing that comes to mind when I think about Sandy. Her spirit, her dedication, and her consistent effort to better the lives of those around her, makes her a remarkable life changer. An advocate for all those she encounters, she is a go-to person for those in need and those focusing on their future. She is essence of a life-long learner and I am inspired and energized when we have the opportunity to brainstorm and create ideas for our students. I whole-heartedly give my support to Sandy as a Lifechanger!