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Since 1965, Project Friendship has been pairing Northfield youth with St. Olaf and Carleton students to help them realize their full potential and set them up for success.

Our Program

Project Friendship is a 501(c) 3 nonprofit organization that pairs children in grades 2 - 7 with a student mentor from Carleton College or St. Olaf College for a 2-4 year mentoring relationship. Mentoring has lasting benefits to any child including increased self-esteem, better performance in school, and stronger interpersonal skills. Plus, fun for both the child and their mentor! While Project Friendship mentor-mentee relationships are only facilitated until the mentor graduates, they often extend far beyond the mentor's graduation, some last a lifetime. Mentor relationships benefit children who may be struggling with stress at home, are new to the community, may have trouble making friends at school, or simply need a person to confide in.

Flexible Scheduling

College student mentors dedicate an hour each week to do fun activities with their little buddy. Mentors and buddies meet on campus at a time that works for both the buddy's parent or guardian and their mentor.

Individualized Attention

One of the cornerstones of Project Friendship is the individualized attention that mentees receive. Mentors are sure to give their little buddy unconditional acceptance and attention to help foster self-confidence and self-esteem.

Fun, Informal Activities

Mentors engage in activities with their buddy based on similar interests such as basketball, painting, baking cookies, and playing pool. Large group activities include seasonal get-togethers such as sledding, trips to the apple orchard, a pumpkin patch, or the zoo.

Paving the Path to Success

Mentoring has been shown to improve a mentee's attitude towards school and increase their likelihood to graduate from high school. Additionally, mentoring strengthens the relationships mentees have with those around them, preparing them for an even more successful future.


"It's amazing how

a person who was once a stranger
suddenly means the world to you."

Check out photos from just some of the awesome activities our mentors and mentees do together!

Finding the Best Apples!
Checking out the Goats!
Warm Sun and Warm Hearts!
Program Directors!
Checking Out Nature!
Scavenger Hunt @ River Bend!
On the Hunt!
Checking out Nature!
2 Hula Hoops?! Wow!
50th Anniversary Bash!
Finding the Best Apples!
Zoo Trip!
All Smiles on this Sled!
Fun in the Snow!
Sledding with Friends!
Smiles in the Winter Sun!
Grant funding provided by:
united way.jfif
Northfield Shares.jpg
Community Supporters:
  • Carleton College

  • College City Beverage

  • Community Resource Bank

  • Culvers

  • Dick's Sanitation

  • Heritage Dental Care

  • Larson's Printing

  • Lion's Club

  • Merchants Bank

  • Northfield Insurance Agency

  • Professional Dental Group

  • Rebound Enterprises

  • Rotary Club

  • The Talk Doctor

  • VFW Post 4393

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