Under the direction of founders Charlene Schulz and Chris Earwicker, After School Buddies began in 2003 as a leadership development and mentoring program serving Buckingham Elementary School in Bend, Oregon. Teens from local high schools worked with 4th and 5th grade student to improve study skills, self esteem, physical fitness and to encourage community service.
The program grew in 2004 to include a second elementary school and in 2005 to serve a small population of middle school girls.
ASB became an official partner of the newly formed Oregon nonprofit corporation, The Cause, Inc. in 2004. By the end of 2008, ASB was holding weekly elementary programs for four groups including one group of teenage men serving elementary boys from two schools. A separate middle school program for girls continued to be offered. Participation had grown to over 100 teenage, middle school and elementary students facilitated by 13 adults. ASB became an independent 5013C Corporation in 2009.
After School Buddies added a day camp experience for female students starting in 2006. Hosted by Charlene and Jerry Schulz, the camp has served up to 75 teen and student participants at no charge to those attending. Funds to support this annual event come from private and business donations and fund raising efforts during the school year.
Charlene Schulz, Director of After School Buddies, is assisted by a team of over 25 caring and dedicated adult leaders. As of spring of 2017, more than 12 college students and 33 high school students mentored 70 elementary and middle school girls in four different locations throughout Bend.
After School Buddies, Inc. is a registered 501 3C corporation doing business in the state of Oregon. Funding for ASB is provided by private donations from individuals, businesses, churches and corporations. ASB, Inc. is not solely supported by any one business or church but is grateful for the many agencies, organizations, churches, businesses and individuals that help financially to allow this effort to continue.