A few thoughts from previous Big Buddy mentors…

Thank you, thank you, thank you for everything ASB has done not just for me but for 4th grade through college-aged girls throughout Bend. Serving with ASB these last few months gave me more than I ever expected.  It really helped to open me up to things I would have never opened up to otherwise and has really helped prepare me to go overseas. The things that the ASB program does for the girls are really making a difference. We are so blessed to have the opportunity to be a part of this program. (High school graduate; foreign exchange student; former 4th grade Little Buddy later serving as a high school Big Buddy.)

Throughout high school, I volunteered at ASB – a program designed to prepare elementary and middle school girls for the social, academic and emotional challenges of middle and high school. I witnessed the transformational power and the promise of education. Participants who began the program as passive and disconnected girls whose voices were often ignored by the adults in their lives became strong, determined young women who took initiative and participated more in school and outside activities. The volunteers maintained a consistent presence at “After School Buddies” each week, allowing for a strong, tight-knit community to be built. At the after-school sessions, we facilitated tutoring and team-building activities that inspired confidence and sent girls the message that they all had the potential to succeed and make a meaningful difference in their own school and communities. Simply being a part of the support system at “After School Buddies” allowed me to encourage young women to not only get by in their middle and high schools, but to thrive.  (College graduate; served as a Big Buddy throughout high school, now applying to graduate school for a masters in Public Administration specializing in social education and social welfare.)

I would like to thank you so much for helping me learn and grow with ASB. That was one of the places that I learned that I love to teach and help students. I would not be where I am today without that experience. Thank you! (former ASB Big Buddy, currently working as a middle school science teacher in Portland, OR.)

 At first going to ASB every week was my way to give back and help the little girls. But soon I realized that not only did I want to go to Buddies and see the girls but I needed to go. Knowing that these girls looked up to me, I was inspired to try harder in school and to make sure that I stayed on the right path because I did not want to let these girls down. Every week the ASB leaders were so caring and loving and always wanted to know what was happening in my life. They were there for the triumphs and the difficult, stressful times. Knowing that helped keep me strong. I know that ASB exists because the leaders listen to God. Perhaps the most important lessons I learned were to listen and follow my heart because God has an amazing plan for each of us. (College graduate; working as research and process associate at Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard.)

Working with ASB was a blast and gave me the opportunity to work with children and help in a charitable way that also dealt with my chosen career field. I was treated as a valued equal whose opinions and contributions were deeply appreciated. I was able to meet great people and share ideas with each other. It was my first experience volunteering and it made me want to keep on doing it. My experience with ASB will stay with me for the rest of my life. (College and masters level graduate who served as a Big Buddy for Thrive! middle school; now an elementary teacher in Bend, OR.)


My experience with After School Buddies was the best volunteering experience and learning experience I have ever had. The staff are ASB July 4th Savannahincredibly friendly, and welcome you with open arms. The girls need positive role models, and if you have ever wanted to make a difference in the lives of teenage girls, body image and teaching young women to be strong and empowered it starts here. I would still be working with them if it was not for the fact that I moved, and I promise you that volunteering with After School Buddies will change your outlooks on how much volunteering can do in the eyes and lives of other people.  OSU Cascades 2014

I am very happy I was able to volunteer with After School Buddies. It was a great way for me to get involved in the community as well as gain more experience working with kids. The whole experience was very rewarding – the program makes such a positive impact on young girls. I loved coming to Buddies each week and being welcomed by all the middle schoolers. They really do value your presence and love having you as their mentor. Anyone who is interested working with children, specifically middle school aged children would really benefit from working/volunteering with this program. One can really gain insight on the real problems and situations middle school kids face on a daily basis.  OSU Cascades student 2014

When I was a fourth grader, I struggled in school when my father was diagnosed with clinical depression.  In high school I volunteered with After School Buddies as a Big Buddy so that I could use my experiences to help girls facing similar difficult circumstances. Before joining ASB, I assumed the Wednesday afternoons would be a time for me to empower these young girls. Although this proved to be true, I am always amazed by how much the Little Buddies encouraged me! Many of their lives have been shattered by situations such as homelessness, abuse, illness, or divorce.  Yet, their resiliency overpowers their circumstances, allowing them to excel in school, help others in the community, and laugh with friends. Being a part of ASB affirms my love for working with children and inspires me to empower others. Former high school mentor and adult leader of ASB Elk Meadow. Graduate of OSU Cascades with MAT; teaching in Bend Lapine elementary school

After School Buddies gives you the opportunity to make a difference in young girls lives. ASB stays with you in your heart and soul – best choice I ever made.  OSU Cascades 2014 graduate. Currently enrolled in the Masters in Counseling program.