Courteous Kids and Life Launch served over 3700 youth in 2018.

Our Staff

Our Board

Frank Budz, Graphic Design Manager

CHI Health Print and Design Center

Julie Muessel, MPCI Underwriter Rain and Hail, Great Plains Division 


Deanna Marcellino, Founder & President Diamondback Consulting

April Basel Klusaw, Community Engagement Specialist Metropolitan Community College


Curtis Young, Business Director 

Clinical Programs, Nebraska Medicine 


Matt McCahill, Division Director of Digital Marketing CHI Health

Executive Director

Mary Beth Budz is the Founder and Executive Director of Courteous Kids/Life Launch since it was an idea in 2006. Ms. Budz is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point. She began  her career in the in the environmental sciences. As an outreach educator, she worked in the conservation field with the water management districts in Florida and later with the  University of Florida’s Extension Service before moving with her young family to Nebraska .
Her love for teaching, designing and developing hands-on, quality instructional youth programs has transcended into Courteous Kids and Life Launch which became a 501 C-3 in 2013. Since its inception, the non profit has touched over 10,000 young lives with the message and skill building instruction of becoming a kinder and more confident person. Ms. Budz is married and has three grown children and loves the rural life and gardening opportunities of Nebraska!

Support Staff

Cassie Petersen is the Community Engagement Coordinator for Courteous Kids/Life Launch. She graduated from UNO with a Bachelor's of Psychology with a minor in Communication Studies. She is currently working on her Master's in Human and Family Services Administration through UNL. Cassie's Master's Degree will help her learn the ins and outs of being a leader in a nonprofit organization. She works to grow Courteous Kids/Life Launch and help us touch more lives. Cassie has a young daughter, Claire, and husband, Jake.

Phone: (402)-682-1205

​Email: cpetersen@courteouskids.org


Jodi Korth is a recent graduate of UNO's Masters in Public Administration and has been vital in the continuing development of Courteous Kids/Life Launch. Jodi has a young son, Cooper and husband, Nick . They live In Mason City, IA.


Lauren Shultz is a current student at UNO and manages the busy GIVE program (Get Involved. Value Everyone.)  on a day to day basis.  She puts out fires (not literally) and makes sure we are role modeling to our young people in developing their sense of community and service.


Jen Falke is our Scouting Liason and Curriculum Writer for Courteous Kids/Life Launch. She is currently raising a family  in addition to using her excellent teaching and writing skills to develop strong, professional and  quality curriculum  and making sure we meet state standards in the school districts we serve.

​Email: scouting@courteouskids.org

2018-2019 Teachers

Jordyn Kelley

Monique Tate

Leah Hile

Katie Hicks

Sally Swoboda

Jade Allen

Madeline Swanson

Kendall Ring