Big Partner Little Partner

Big Partner/Little Partner (BPLP) is a mentorship program that pairs Gustavus students with youth from St. Peter and the surrounding communities to foster friendship and personal growth. The program started in 1963 and is still going strong! Big Partner/Little Partner pairs meet 2-4 times per month for an hour. These meeting times are determined by the schedule of the Big Partner (Gustie) and the Little Partner (youth). Monthly events organized by the program coordinators bring together the whole group for fun activities and social-emotional skill building.

Big Partner Little PartnerMission

To build stronger ties between the St. Peter Community and Gustavus Adolphus College by having the leaders of today mentor the leaders of tomorrow through a one-on-one relationship.


  • Little Partners need to be dropped off at Gustavus and picked up after one hour with their Big Partner. Most Bigs and Littles meet at the 3 Flags.
  • Bigs and Littles do not need to meet for over an hour - this is a good amount of time for the partners to have fun and catch up without becoming overwhelming.
  • During the weeks when a large group event is planned (Trick or Treating, Holiday party, etc) Partners are not excpected to meet additionally in that week.
  • Bigs and Littles are matched in a one-on-one basis meaning that there should not be additional family members or friends coming along. This is for one Gustie, one youth.

Important Dates for 2022-2023

  • Fall 2022:
    • October 12 - Matching event at the Arboretum
    • November 1 - Trick or Treating Large Group Event - drop off at 3 Flags
    • November 17 - Fall Festival at the Arboretum 
    • Week of Thanksgiving - no meeting
    • December 8 - Sledding, winter crafts - drop off at 3 Flags
    • Week of December 14 - Gusties start finals this week so no meetings until next semester
  • January 2023:
    • Most Gusties will not be on campus for J-term (they will be traveling, doing internships, working at home, etc. for the month). So Bigs will maybe zoom, call, send a letter at some time during Janaury. The program will resume in February when the spring semester starts.
  • Spring 2023:
    • February 6 - Spring semester starts for Gusties
    • April 1-9 - Gusties on spring break
    • May 18 - Last day partners can meet

Important Contacts

Sam, Parent Coordinator -

Allison, Lead Coordinator -

Amy Pehrson, Director of the Community Engagement Center - or 507-933-6011.

Applying for the program?

Thinking about becoming a Big Partner? Check out this video on all the reasons why you should do it!

Find Us on Social Media

Coordinators 2022-2023


Gustavus Email Address

Allison Held Lead Coordinator
Sam Kline Parent Coordinator (fall)
Isaac Erickson-Thoemke Parent Coordinator (spring) 
Kaylene Kerber Student Coordinator
Shelby Zander Logistics/PR Coordinator (fall)
Emma Shumaker Logistics/PR Coordinator (spring) 
Kat Cardenas ELL Coordinator
Iliana Luebbert Lead Events Coordinator
Abigail Laryea Events Coordinator 
Emma Shumaker Events Coordinator (fall) 
Maria Trochez Events Coordinator