President & CEO
Chrystal Struben is dedicated to enriching the lives of young people and their families. As president and CEO of AYS, Inc., Chrystal works diligently to ensure that the crucial childcare and enrichment needs of AYS families are met. Leading this dynamic multi-million dollar nonprofit, Chrystal is responsible for overseeing the operation of safe and enriching before- and after-school programs, as well as whole day and summer programs for youth Pre-K through 6th grade.
Chrystal brings a wealth of experience and passion to her role. She joined AYS as a parent in 2011 and then, in 2014, succeeded its founder as its second president and CEO. She leads a staff of nearly 150 people across over 40 sites. Her past experience as a vice president for Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky as well as a marketing professional for The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis laid the foundation for her success at AYS. Along with her professional expertise, Chrystal holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Organizational Communications from Purdue University and an MBA from Butler University.
During her leadership tenure at AYS, Chrystal has overseen consistent increases in enrollment and funding. A strategic and collaborative leader, Chrystal has worked to inspire her team to drive those successful results while guiding them to rethink AYS’ brand and curriculum delivery model to offer strategies that better support student learning and emotional growth.
In 2019, AYS secured a $7.5 million grant to focus on improved employee retention, organizational quality, and technology, which drives organizational success and long-term sustainability. AYS continues to benefit from Chrystal’s diligent fundraising efforts which have sustained the organization during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Chrystal serves in a variety of formal and informal advisory groups and committees which have positively positioned AYS to be tapped by the mayor of Indianapolis to respond to childcare needs during the COVID-19 pandemic. Thanks to Chrystal’s agility and strong strategic nature, she has led the AYS team through these tumultuous times by working through existing partnerships and developing new ones to help meet the needs of our community’s essential workers.
Chrystal is a Zen warrior—busting barriers, fostering dialogue, and making things happen! She adores her son, Carter, and loves spending as much time with him as possible. She is also an avid hiker, gardener, and reader. Chrystal has practiced yoga for 25 years and thrives by staying active through exercise and spending time outdoors.