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From homeschooling mom to Gibbs Award winner: meet Crystal Overstreet

Apr 30, 2024 by AFP

Five years ago, Crystal Overstreet was not very interested in politics. “I was a ‘tell me who to vote for’ type of person,” she told us. Fast-forward four years, and she is on the stage in front of hundreds of her colleagues receiving the 2024 AFP George Gibbs Award for Outstanding Engagement Director.

What happened? How did Crystal go from not being involved in politics to winning an honor reserved for the most engaged, impactful, and effective grassroots leader in the country?

It all started with her kids, a phone bank, and a free chicken sandwich.

The phone bank that changed Crystal’s life

Crystal’s kids were invited to do a phone bank for AFP as part of their homeschool Co-op. Although Crystal was not very excited about the idea at first, her family had been volunteering there for years. So, after some convincing (and the promise of free Chick-fil-A), she decided to go to the event and do a couple of calls.

She did not know it then, but that decision would change her life and community.

Once she got there, one of the local AFP volunteers offered Crystal the chance to knock on some doors, so she decided to give it a shot.

As soon as she went, something clicked in her mind.

“I fell in love with it,” Crystal said.

For years, she had taught her kids how important it was to be a civically engaged American, yet Crystal was not much involved. “I am definitely a practice what you preach kind of person,” she said, and AFP gave her a perfect opportunity to be involved with her community.

Crystal goes and talks to dozens of everyday Americans and teaches them —with the same energy and drive she uses to homeschool her kids— about the policies that can solve many of America’s problems.

“I think that what we do is education. It doesn’t matter what aspect of it, but we are helping to educate people on the policies that are happening, the policy champions, and our government in general, and I just fell in love with it,” Crystal told us.

By March 2020, Crystal had joined AFP; and by November, she was already promoted to Grassroot Engagement Director. “From there, I haven’t looked back.”

How Crystal and AFP are changing Colorado, one door at a time

Since joining AFP, Crystal’s community has not looked back either. She has been a critical part of AFP’s great work in Colorado. She has built an impressive network of young volunteers, educating scores of young Colorado students in the ideas of liberty and prosperity.

Thanks to her leadership and the commitment of hardworking volunteers , her team has made more than 168,000 calls, knocked on 28,000 doors, and talked to over 4,400 people across the state.

The people from Colorado are benefiting massively from her work in the centennial state. Just last year, AFP helped protect the taxpayer’s bill of rights (TABOR) from gutting, ensuring that Coloradoan taxpayers would continue to get their refunds —which totaled $800 per person for 2023— in the near future.

Why are dozens of Coloradans walking with Crystal and knocking on thousands of doors in the state?

Simple, they share the same idea we all do: they believe in the American people. They know that when we remove unnecessary barriers to Americans, and give them the freedom to fulfill their potential, good things will happen.

Millions of Americans share that same belief, even if they might initially be skeptical.

Crystal knows this for a fact. A few years ago, when knocking on doors for a candidate, she remembers talking to a highly skeptical voter.

After a long and sometimes testy conversation, the voter “understood we all want the same thing. We want a better America, it does not matter if you have an R or a D next to your name” Crystal remembered.

Not only was the voter more receptive to the message in general but “it was also funny because a lot of her policy beliefs were actually more in line with our candidate than the opponent,” Crystal told us.

Hundreds of grassroots activists like Crystal are making a difference

Crystal is a perfect illustration of what makes AFP different.

She is an active member of her community, she listens to her neighbors’ problems, and convinces them to support the ideas of freedom and opportunity that have brought so much prosperity to America.

Like Crystal, thousands of AFP grassroots volunteers are changing their communities, energizing Americans to unite and push for ideas that will bring more freedom, opportunities, and prosperity throughout the country.

AFP is making a profound difference in the lives of countless Americans. Crystal’s journey is just one example of the immense power of grassroots engagement. Now, it’s your turn to join the movement and be a part of the solutions your community needs. Be a part of AFP and help shape a better future for all American