AVFTI has brought so many amazing people into my life. The volunteers and board members constantly inspire me, make me laugh, and make me feel loved. But one person has stood out to me. That person is Ms. Kristen Eby.
Kristen was always popping up on my newsfeed on Facebook, we never really talked much. But she was always there. I saw her doing good work, and I admired her. Then, when we were brought on to Warped Tour, Kristen and I did dates outside of AVFTI’s reach. This was the first time I really chatted with Kristen. I could see her passion, her relentless power to address the issue of sexual assault. I saw how much this meant to her. I was inspired.
That was just the beginning of the inspiration. In June 2016, I saw that Kristen was going to an AVFTI benefit show in NYC. I decided that I wanted to go to. So, I hopped on a bus, barely knowing what she looked like, and stayed with Kristen to two days. Little did I know, I was meeting one of my best friends.
It was during that weekend that we talked about our stories, opened up to each other, and also had a lot of fun. Hearing her story, and what she has been through, broke my heart. But it also inspired me. She had been through things that no one deserves to go through, but she was there, standing up and speaking her mind. She is always doing that. Kristen unapologetically stands up for what she believes in, but is also always willing to learn. Kristen is well spoken, brilliant and passionate. She has had things happen to her, but she is not letting that hold her back. She is using that to fuel her fire. Every day, I see Kristen post on Facebook. She is speaking up. She is being a voice. She truly wants to help so many people. Thank you for inspiring me, Kristen. You are amazing. You are the most badass chick I know. Thank you for being you, seriously.