Someone you need to meet: Symil Austin

Someone+you+need+to+meet%3A+Symil+Austin

By Lily Lunn, Lifestyles Editor, Graphics Editor, Social Media Editor

If you haven’t met senior Symil Austin, you should. Austin is seen around campus in the most stylish outfits and platform boots that are filled with tiny little baby toys. Everything is color coordinating, from hair beads and butterfly clips to her skirts and socks.  Austin is a role model at Tamalpais High School, she is a part of numerous clubs, and has distinguished leadership roles on campus. 

Austin transferred to Tam after her freshman year from Houston, Texas, seeking a new environment. After growing up spending her summers in Marin, she decided to live with her father in Marin City for the remainder of her school years. Her transition from her previous school came with new challenges. “Tam is very different from my previous school. My old school was more diverse. Coming to Tam was a lot of adjusting to get used to being the only Black person in a lot of my classes [and] getting used to the way Tam functions,” Austin said. 

Austin quickly and eagerly became involved on campus and was nominated to be a link leader the year following her arrival. She wanted to welcome and mentor new students, especially students who had transferred as she did. “My experience transferring to Tam really makes me think that hopefully in the future I want to be able to help a lot of people who are put into places where they aren’t given help,” Austin said. She has continued to be a link leader for the past two years. 

Austin is an active part of the Black Student Union (BSU); joining her sophomore year, she became a positive influence and enthusiastic member. “I know that it is really hard being a student of color at Tam, so I want to be someone to be a helping hand,” Austin said. Her junior year reflected this when she was quickly promoted to co-president for her outstanding efforts and participation in the club. Even through the pandemic, she was able to hold BSU meetings over Zoom and planned a trip to tour historically Black colleges. “My goal for BSU is to bring together the Black students at Tam and host fun events to bring people together,” Austin said.

Austin is a part of Bridge the Gap, an after-school program for students to receive support on homework and college prep work located in Marin City. Austin is a successful student academically and she uses her time to support her friends and to connect with more students on campus. She also connects with other students through the Tam High’s theatre program, the Conservatory Theatre Ensemble (CTE). 

Austin has always been this involved in her school’s community and plans to continue this involvement in the future. “In middle school, I was highly involved in the theater at my school along with doing morning announcements. I’m really proud of all the connections I’ve made with people. I think being able to make even a tiny impact on someone whether I know them or not makes me really proud,” Austin said. 

After high school, Austin hopes to work in behavioral cognitive science where she can continue to make connections with people and inspire people to become active parts of their own communities. “I want to be able to give back to lower communities, whether it’s just with kids with disabilities, people of color, women, LGBTQ. I want to help them get the support that they need,” Austin said.

Austin wants everyone at Tam to know that if they need help, she is always willing to answer the call. “Anybody! Reach your hand out to me. I am always open, if you wanna talk, ask me a question, whatever you are curious about, you can come to me!” Austin said.