What middle schooler doesn’t love to create amazing artwork with food? Our own “Chef Suzanne” (culinary author Suzanne Landry) motivated the girls at Thrive! to eat from all of the colors of the rainbow.
What would ASB be without our awesome adult “Buddies”? Here are a few of our amazing mentors who spend long hours inspiring our teens, young adults and students. It’s a life-changing, inspiring way to make a difference in our community. Want to join our team? Contact Char at firstname.lastname@example.org.
It seemed like we would never get off and running this year but yes – all ASB groups are going strong now that most of the snow has melted. The girls have had such a great time exploring positive self-esteem activities including a fun engineering lesson from Scigirls.org. Researching, designing and building a simple robotic arm with basic kitchen items was a lot more fun than they thought!
As luck would have it – the excess snowfall in early 2017 has made our roads quite challenging to navigate and the roofs of some schools at risk of collapsing. Due to the continued school closure of Realms and Pilot Butte Middle School this week – the ASB Thrive! Middle School program is cancelled on Wed Jan 18th. These two middle schools that have girls attending the program are still closed and the other schools have a longer day this Wed. HOPEFULLY we will see girls enrolled in ALL PROGRAMS next week with the exception of Buckingham Buddies. That program is now scheduled to start on Monday January 30.
At this time we are planning to meet at JUNIPER School this Thurs Jan 19th as normally scheduled. Girls attending the ELK MEADOW program on Tuesdays should plan to attend next Tue Jan 24th.
If you have questions – please text or call Char at 541 390-3046. Hope to see you next week!
Fifteen years ago a 16 year old girl joined with a few friends and a mentor to positively impact the lives of more than 750 homeless people in Bend, Oregon. From this first gathering of supplies and clothing collected to fill new backpacks for needy children and adults evolved a program known as After School Buddies. Teens found themselves making a difference, working together to serve God by serving others in need of love and support. Now, 15 years later, more than 1000 at-risk girls and mentors have participated in After School Buddies working to fulfill the mission of “loving others as God has loved us”.
ASB girls experience many of the same trials and tribulations seen in families all across America – divorce and custody battles, unhappy blended families, loss of loved ones, financial distress, mental or physical illness, incarcerated parents – to name just a few. Girls of all ages are impacted by these challenges – pushing the limits of emotional, physical, spiritual and relational well-being. The fall-out of abandonment and rejection of young children continues to plague families and communities long after the childhood years are over.
To counteract some of this trauma, ASB participants are offered experiences of joy, encouragement and inspiration by spending time with caring, compassionate teens and adults. Fifteen years of program success have demonstrated the impact and rewards of giving to others while inspiring girls to build self-confidence and improved academic and relational skills.
As a result of serving with ASB, many teens and local college students have made life-changing vocational decisions because of their time spent as Big Buddy mentors. From teachers to counselors, social workers to human resources managers, from committed wives and mothers to nonprofit directors – young women spending time as Big Buddies gain experience, knowledge and insight that positively impacts their future.
2016 was a banner year for ASB. Why?
- The “Free to Be Me” themed programs empowered 100+ girls and women to find their God-given passions, gifts and talents, dream big dreams, try new challenges and experience new joys while celebrating their individuality.
- We welcomed 9 new adult volunteers to our team of mentors with more to come in 2017.
- The 2016 Summer Leadership program involved 85 participants attending the outstanding Olympic-themed 11th annual ASB August camp. (Go for the Gold!)
- The fall 2016 (and soon to be 2017) programs focused on the theme “Embrace Education” – encouraging girls of all ages to educate themselves about each other and strive to attack the negative impacts of bullying and personal prejudices. Also – integration of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) learning theories will be a fun addition in 2017.
- ASB became a part of the Better Together collaboration of agencies serving Central Oregon youth working to increase the number of children completing their high school graduation requirements.
- A total of 35 OSU Cascades University students have served as mentors since the initiation of our partnership with the university in 2012, 20 of them in 2016. What a huge blessing they have been!
As we wrap up our programs of 2016, it is important to look back and note the many people, companies and agencies who have blessed After School Buddies this past year.
- First – we recognize the many adult leaders of our both school year and summer camp programs who give of themselves freely each week and/or all summer long. ASB is blessed by their commitment, wisdom and passion that makes a significant difference in the lives of all of our girls.
- We celebrate the gift of friendship and support from the counselors, faculty, staff, transportation and nutrition services departments of the Bend Lapine School District, Central Oregon Community College and Oregon State University – Cascades Campus. These wonderful entities provide us with mentors, elementary and middle school students, transportation, after school suppers, classroom space and much more.
- We are again grateful for the gift of space for the Thrive! ASB Middle School program that is offered at no charge by the Christian Life Center.
- We celebrate the new relationships with local therapeutic transition schools including New Leaf Academy and Cascade Crest Transitions for providing wonderful teen and young adult mentors.
- We are grateful for the husbands, significant others and families who support our volunteer efforts and put up with our many hours of service to others.
- We deeply appreciate the many businesses, foundations and individuals who have given us financial gifts and/or gifts in kind that allow us to continue to honor the God-inspired passion to serve and love others.
- We particularly thank the generous donors who have supported our special “Big Dream” outdoor pavilion project – the construction of a large, outdoor pavilion that will provide shelter not only for the summer leadership camp but also for outdoors activities for all programs throughout the year.
- As an update, since March 2016 we have raised $11,000 of the $20,000 needed to complete the structure. Anonymous donors have already honored a match of the first $5000 raised (included in the $11,000) and have promised another $5000 of matching funds if we can raise an additional $5000 to meet our goal.
(Note If you are looking for a way to bless your community and support the participants of ASB, please consider donating to the “Big Dream” and help us raise the additional $5000 needed to complete the project. Our goal is to have the pavilion built in time for the 2017 camp kick off in June.)
In closing, like most nonprofit agencies, we depend on gifts from private donors to keep programs running. Although we have been blessed by the generosity of many, we still need to seek funding to continue the work we do that is offered free to all participants.
If providing support for After School Buddies’ ongoing programs is a priority for you, please know that
- as little as $50 will pay for a girl to attend the free school year program;
- an additional $50 will help pay for her to attend the annual summer camp.
Donations may be made by check or by using this web site link for credit card processing.. (Donate)
Regardless of your decision, we ask that you keep us in your thoughts and prayers – asking God to provide us not only with the finances we need but also the volunteers required to staff the programs and the young girls who would best be served by these amazing women.
Thank you ever so much for being a part of the ASB story. May the coming year bring you even more personal satisfaction and joy than you could have dreamed! With heartfelt appreciation for your part in “my story”,
As you prepare to celebrate the holidays – please remember After School Buddies when it comes time to share your gifts. Help us help young girls and teens survive and thrive the tumultuous years of adolescence.
Each dollar you donate will allow our programs to serve these special girls and teach them to serve others as well.
To learn more – look for the Donate Now page on this website.
If you have been thinking about volunteering for ASB and haven’t made your mind up yet.. now is the time to jump in! Programs for 4th and 5th grade girls are starting at Juniper and Elk Meadow schools the first week in November. Leadership/training meetings are offered in October so don’t delay! Female teens, college students and adults are needed for these elementary programs plus others that will start up in January.
Our 2016_17 theme for the year is “Embrace Education!” We believe by educating ourselves on a wide variety of character traits and virtues, we will be much better prepared to embrace those who are different from us and learn from them. Whether their interests are math or science, the arts or English literature, fashion design or sports, everyone deserves respect and acceptance. And while we learn about others and embrace our similarities and differences, each will also learn to love others as they have been loved. Sharing that love with others in our community and in our world is a huge part of what ASB is all about!
Below is a short statement from an OSU Cascades student who served with ASB last spring. This young woman is preparing to become an elementary teacher. Her story may not be reflective of your story but the impact the girls have on you may be similar. It’s worth the time and the love. Don’t wait any longer.. become a part of ASB and make a difference!.
The opportunity to serve with ASB was slightly out of my comfort zone because I am much more comfortable working with younger children, such as preschool or kindergarteners rather than with 4th and 5th graders. However, my time with ASB overall exceeded my expectations. Char is in amazing woman to work with and the trust she had in all of us was incredible. I had the opportunity to create a lesson with another girl in my class who was also volunteering with ASB and it ended up being very powerful. Although it was work putting together a lesson, the reward was amazing. I will never forget that day, and the small impact I had on those girls and the impact they also had on me.
asb-adult-volunteer-application-2016_17 Adult Application
2016_17-asb-teen-permission-slip Teen Application
It’s September and most everyone is getting ready to head back to school. Whether you are in elementary, middle or high school or college – there is most likely a place for you in ASB. Programs will begin later this fall so keep checking this web site for news as to when and where!
We were so blessed to have Katie Campbell on staff as an intern and camp leader this summer. Look at this amazing banner for Team Brazil that she designed and painted for camp. This woman represents ASB in all kinds of ways – shining from the inside out!