The Together Friends Organization Inc. was founded and
incorporated by Timothy O Buchanan on November 23,
1983. The organization received its 501(c)(3) status on
February 21, 1986. The organization launched its initial
pilot program during the summer of 1985 in Grand
Rapids, MI at the Martin Luther King Jr. Park.
Forty-two students began the summer program which was made up of 60% black, 28% Hispanic and 12% white students. The overall success of the program met expectations both from the organizational strategic initiatives and from the program sponsors and funders’ expectations. Upon the acknowledgement of the successful outcomes, it was determined that the program would be continued and expanded to include an additional site (Garfield Park).
After the completion of the second summer, it was determined that the summer programs should evolve into an after-school program to be offered during the school year. The after-school program began in January of 1987. The organization was fully embraced by the Grand Rapids Public School system and allowed the organization to hold its classroom meetings at the Grand Rapids Community College. The superintendent fully supported the program and also provided the transportation for the programs’ field trips. Thanks to the funding from the Amway and Steelcase Corporations, Dyer Ives Foundation and Western Michigan University Science for Citizens Committee, the organization was able to reach its strategic goal of exposing the students to the many various career choices.