Meet Sandy Vogelman, Community Engagement Director and Chaplain at San Antonio Youth for Christ, an organization that inspires young people to work for the betterment of the society.
Despite having a troubled childhood and no one to watch over her, Sandy Vogelman rose like a phoenix from the ashes. Her childhood was full of trauma and all sorts of abuse. Sandy now works with Youth for Christ to reach out to the kids in tough places and strives to improve their lives.
With a mentally ill mother and a drug addict for a father, her family lived miserably all across the country. She was born in San Antonio and graduated high school in Minnesota. Her father was connected to the Mexican mafia and was never around. He frequently went to prison for one reason or the other.
It was not until she was 46 and married with two adult children; Sandy decided to go back to school. She is pursuing a BA in Behavioral Health Sciences with a focus on Trauma from Grand Canyon University. Not having a stable childhood herself, Sandy could relate with the children who have faced abuse from an early age. She is a master trainer in ACE Interface, a study in Adverse Childhood Experiences. She knows the impact trauma has on an individual physically, psychologically, and spiritually. It scars the person for life, and she was fortunate enough to leave it all behind and move on.
Also, she is pursuing Certification for Trauma-Informed Care. Apart from this, she is a DeVos Urban Leadership Initiative (DVULI) Graduate and a Certified & Licensed Chaplain with the International Fellowship of Chaplains (FOC. She is also a Leadership SAISD Graduate and Community Leadership Institute Graduate and has several other certifications. With so many feathers on her hat, Sandy actually proves that age is just a number when it comes to education.
As a working mother, she faced a lot of challenges on her way but fought through them all. But this one time, she had to take a step back owing to her daughter’s health. She was working as an executive assistant and her daughter kept getting asthma attacks. The employer told her to find a babysitter, or she’d lose her job. Sandy resigned from the job to take care of her daughter. Her family has always been her top priority, no matter what. “I do not yet have a degree so I have to work harder and longer to prove myself for roles and pay.“, she says.
She is an ardent believer in God and his grace. According to her, “loving God and loving people is at the core of any door I walk through keeping the mission at the forefront. This makes work feel like I am fulfilling my purpose daily”. Coming to her organization, Youth for Christ helps ignite a change in the lives of people in San Antonio. Their team consists of hardworking individuals from all walks and faiths of life that work to make a difference. She volunteers at several organizations and does every bit to help the needy.
Sandy doesn’t have any regrets about starting school so late. She feels that pausing school to raise a family was one of the best decisions of her life, and she wouldn’t have it any other way. Sharing her ultimate success mantra, she says, “Practice self-efficacy in knowing your worth, owning your weakness while living out your strengths, and find the courage to charter your own journey with the Grace of God!”.