Advocacy runs in Austin’s veins. It started in college, where he was the President of Students United for Reproductive Justice, a student leadership organization created by Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains. Through that experience, Austin realized his passion for health equity, reproductive justice and LGBTQ rights. He’s continued that commitment in the six years since, working in communications and leadership roles at the Colorado Consumer Health Initiative and One Colorado.
Austin joined the Foundation in September 2017. As the Communications Officer, he is responsible for implementing strategic communications to advance the health of all Coloradans, highlighting the Foundation’s work, and spearheading its policy presence. He is personally committed to our mission because growing up, he didn’t have many opportunities to be healthy and to live a healthy life. He says, “Most of my life has been a struggle to make ends meet – making sure I had heat and food – so 'health' wasn’t always the number one priority. Now I have the opportunity to help others to be healthy early on in life, before it causes issues down the line. That’s what I’m really committed to.”
Austin grew up near the Eastern Plains and has lived in Colorado nearly his entire life. His Colorado roots run deep. His favorite place in the state is Ouray, a tiny, friendly town in the San Juans with waterfalls and hot springs – and Ouray is also his middle name.
For Austin, life is good when you have the people you love around you. He also loves the changes that come with fall – you’ll find him exploring the Maroon Bells and enjoying the aspens before it gets too cold. Fittingly, Austin’s favorite book is “Into the Wild” by Jon Krakauer. When he’s not on the move, he is probably diving into photography and graphic design, practicing yoga or kickboxing, or you'll see him out with friends. And his balanced, healthy life always serves as a reminder of the guiding focus in his work: making sure that Coloradans all across the state have the same opportunities to live healthier lives.
BA Journalism and Technical Communications – Colorado State University