Introducing Sarah Silberstein, Texas Hub Director!
America’s Future is happy to announce Sarah Silberstein as the Texas Hub Director!
Sarah was born and raised in Northern California but, as the saying goes, she got to Texas as fast as she could. She likes to think her split experiences in the most liberal and the most conservative states provide her with perspective to navigate conversations with people who hold different world views. She’s a strong believer that in the end, most people want the same thing, we just have different ways of how we think we should get there.
And that’s one of the main reasons why she loves AF! AF fosters community, mutual respect, and conversations that can be difficult or uncomfortable at times, but in the end, help to expand our knowledge, way of thinking, and connection to others.
She has big plans for the AF Texas Hub and we can’t wait to watch her grow our footprint in the Texas region.
Get to know Sarah below!
1. What do you enjoy about your career path so far, and why?
I absolutely love what I do!
I fell in love with writing in the 5th grade and knew I wanted to pursue a career path that allowed me to communicate ideas and information through writing. While I had originally wanted to move to New York and work for a magazine (I watched WAY too many chick flicks in high school), I had the opportunity to work as a local government reporter for a small town newspaper while completing my journalism degree at the University of Texas at Austin. That experience provided me with a VIP look at how corrupt and cliquey local governments can be and how unaware and trusting the majority of our citizenry is.
After completing my degree, I joined the Texas Public Policy Foundation’s communications department where I worked my way from Communication Associate to Director of Media Relations. I had so many amazing experiences while at TPPF including being quoted in the New York Times, handling the media strategy for TPPF’s Constitutional challenge to Obamacare which was argued before SCOTUS last fall, and organizing an interview for TPPF’s General Counsel with NBC Nightly News’ Lester Holt.
After four amazing and challenging years with TPPF, I left to pursue the next opportunity in my professional career as Director of Marketing and Communications for the Associated General Contractors of Texas. While I am only about six months into my new role, I have learned so much already and have met so many amazing and inspiring people. I also get to write, design, and publish the Association’s magazine so I guess dreams do come true.
2. How long have you been in Texas, and what brought you there?
I was born and raised in a small agricultural community in Northern California and moved with my family to Texas in the summer of 2008, the summer before my senior year of high school.
My mom and step dad own a small mobile heavy equipment repair business and their primary client was a concrete trucking company that was pouring foundations for new homes. When the housing market crashed and the economy started to spiral, my parents decided to pick up and move to Texas in the search of greener pastures.
Moving from liberal California to Bible Belt Texas was quite the reality shock for seventeen year old me. Believe it or not, I had multicolored hair, a nose ring, tongue ring, and gauged ears (man I miss being a scene kid) and I thought Obama was going to change the world (he did, just not in the way I was hoping). The vice principal told me I shouldn’t even bother enrolling as I’d never graduate but I’ve never been one to listen to people when they want to tell me what I can and cannot do. I enrolled in school, tried out and made the varsity soccer team (we made it to playoffs), met many wonderful people with vastly different world views than my own, and graduated (with above a 4.0 GPA I will add).
While moving to Texas was never on my radar, I am so thankful for the circumstances that have brought me here. Texas is home, friends have become family, and I am so excited to see what the future holds.
3. What has been your history with AF?
I was first introduced to America’s Future by my Texas Public Policy Foundation colleague, Vance Ginn, who introduced me to the Writing Fellows Program. Even though I have a journalism degree, writing, editing, and placing opinion pieces was a whole new challenge for me. The Writing Fellows program was an amazing experience. I learned a lot, made a lot of great connections with peers and op-ed editors, and continue to serve as a mentor for the program to this day.
When I was in the process of leaving my position with TPPF, the AF Austin Chapter Leader position became available. I have long admired the work and mission of AF and knew I wanted to continue my work in the liberty movement in whatever way possible. I applied and was offered the AF Austin Chapter Leader position in April of this year. I’ve spent the last six months rebuilding the chapter after the difficulties of event programming during the government shutdowns and am so excited to grow AF’s presence in Texas with the launch of the Hub.
4. What helpful skills do you have that people could ask you for advice on?
Helpful skills: writing and proofreading, media pitches, interview tips and tricks, navigating office politics.
Less helpful skills: corny jokes, wide array of random fun facts, and I’m an absolute beast at puzzles.
5. What are you most excited about in your Hub Director role?
Hands down, building community. These last few years (ok, maybe decade) have been difficult all around. The world is shifting and those who do not conform with or question the status quo are ostracized and discredited. I want the AF Texas Hub to feel like coming home to your friends. We’re going to have difficult conversations, we’re going to challenge our way of thinking, and we’re going to grow as individuals and as a community because of it.
6. Book recommendations?
I love to read but haven’t had as much time to read lately as I would like. When I do read, I tend to do so for enjoyment and love a good cozy mystery or thriller. My favorite place to buy books is Dollar Tree (girl loves a deal) as they have a wide array of hardcover books for a dollar! I’ve picked up so many books, everything from mysteries to biographies and everything in between, and have yet to read one I didn’t enjoy.
7. Coffee order?
Grande Iced Dirty Chai Latte
8. Favorite places to travel?
I love Muir Woods in Northern California. The soaring redwoods are absolutely mesmerizing and humbling. I’ve been fortunate to have the opportunity to travel to Israel multiple times. My first trip was during the Gaza Conflict and I got to experience the Iron Dome defense system in action. It is absolutely wild and inspiring to witness other’s way of life and I highly recommend doing so whenever possible.