Supporting Educational Freedom for All: Ashley’s Story

Jun 12, 2024 by AFP

Wake up at 6:00 a.m. Enjoy a cup of coffee in your (for now) quiet living room; you have a long day ahead. It’s now 7:00 a.m., time to start your day. On your to-do list: tend to the family business, do laundry, cook breakfast, homeschool your kids, and… be one of the most effective AFP activists in Wisconsin.

That’s the day-to-day of Ashley Oyen.

This is how she became a linchpin for liberty in her community.

From crisis to action

Ashley was not always involved in advocacy work. After all, taking care of your family business and four kids does not leave you much time to spare in the day.

However, 2020 changed everything.

Like millions of Americans, Ashley was worried about how the COVID crisis would impact her family.

“Fear started to set in. How’s this going to affect my family, how’s this going to affect my children, how’s this going to affect my business?” Ashley told us.

People respond to stress in two ways: fight or flight— and Ashley is a fighter. She saw the community’s problems and decided it was time for her to be part of the solution.

At that moment, her friend Nicole Tyc invited her to an Americans for Prosperity event. Ashley had never heard about AFP; she only knew they were people committed to making a change, and as soon as she set foot in that meeting, her mind was set: she wanted to be part of that change.

The first day she volunteered for AFP, Ashley was nervous. Getting out of your comfort zone is never easy, and knocking on dozens of doors and talking to strangers can be intimidating.

But as soon as she started, the fear and nervousness evaporated. Ashley transformed into a tireless activist. She hikes through snow-filled fields to knock on dozens of doors, endures frigid winds to canvass street after street, and walks during sizzling summer days to talk to hundreds of people.

Whatever the challenge Ashley faces, she overcomes it.

Juggling family, business, and community

Ashley started with AFP thinking it would be a side project, but the more doors she knocked on and the more people she talked to, the more she realized this would not be an occasional activity. It would be part of her life.

It’s not easy either. Being a mother of four and managing a small business are two full-time jobs. But like the subzero temperatures she faces when canvassing, Ashley also conquers time.

“I shouldn’t have time to volunteer, but I make the time because it’s important. It’s important for me to be able to set that example for my children and to be able to fight for them,” Ashley says.

Her effort and drive made her a legend in AFP-Wisconsin.

“She homeschools, she’s involved in her community, they run a small business, they have a small farm out here in Platteville, and yet she dedicates time to work with AFP (…) that’s amazing to me.” Megan Novak, AFP Wisconsin state director, told us

Ashley’s next stop, school board

From the get-go, Ashley championed educational freedom; she wants parents across the state to have the liberty to choose the education that best suits their children. Thanks to the arduous work of Ashley and dozens of committed local activists, AFP has through the state, giving thousands of families a chance to succeed.

Working hard for education reform and talking to the people on the ground filled Ashley with passion. She soon decided not only to knock on doors to advocate for educational freedom but to knock on doors and campaign for school board.

“When I think about the world I want my boys to grow up in, I want it to be where they can still achieve the American Dream,” Ashley says.

Election campaigns are not straightforward, but Ashley took this new task with the same impetus she has when she homeschools her kids, helps with the family business, or knocks on hundreds of doors with AFP.

With drive, commitment, and energy, Ashley campaigned across Platteville to convince her neighbors to vote for her.

Ashley was nervous, but her tireless effort worked: she won.

Now, she advocates for freedom in the streets, her home, and on the school board.

Like Ashley, thousands of AFP volunteers are making a difference nationwide, fighting for liberty, opportunity, and prosperity for all Americans.

Interested in making a difference?

Join AFP and become a part of something bigger than politics as usual.