Mentoring and Language Acquisition in Brazil (MLAB)

Program Overview

High need youth often face significant challenges that prevent them from achieving their full potential. Since 2012, the Mentoring and Language Acquisition in Brazil Program has offered one-to-one mentorships that help high need Brazilian youth develop confidence, critical thinking, and English language skills. Combining quality mentorships with engaging content, our program provides positive, life-enriching experiences for youth to learn from older peers and explore common interests. Of the fifty mentees who have participated in MLAB, most have gone on to study in Brazil's best universities, and six have been admitted to some of the United States' most prestigious schools, including Harvard. 
The program takes place over four months, with virtual sessions running from November-February, and includes virtual immersion activities in Brazil in January. This program will require in total approximately 5 hours dedication per month. From collectively exploring important historic and touristic Brazilian spots, to “sharing” breakfast in pairs, listening from experts in different areas of interest and watching and discussing movies, the activities are planned to be as engaging, relevant and interesting as possible for the mentors and mentees to experience and learn from.

Mentor responsibilties include:

  • One-on-one mentorship sessions with mentee (at least 2 hrs/month)
  • Participation in (2) 45-min group activities/month
  • Monthly check-ins with coordinators throughout virtual mentorship
  • Planning involved virtual mentorship sessions (with support from coordinators)
  • Engaging in active listening with mentees
  • Stimulating and contributing to mentee's interests
  • Researching and sharing relevant opportunities and resources with mentees
  • Assisting in planning activities for the group based on mentee's interests and needs

Program Dates

  • October 4, 2020: Mentor Application Deadline
  • November – December 2020: 1.5hrs of virtual mentorship sessions per month
  • January, 2021: 1.5hrs of virtual mentorship sessions; 3 days with virtual immersion activities with Brazil
  • February 2020: 2 hrs of virtual mentorship sessions


Harvard undergraduate or graduate students interested in being an MLAB mentor must fulfill the following requirements:

  • Completion of at least one Portuguese language course in the past or currently enrolled in an introductory course; or Completion or currently enrolled in a course on Brazil.
  • Some mentoring or related experience
  • Commitment to mentoring and inspiring assigned Brazilian mentee over four months of virtual mentorship sessions
  • Participate in all MLAB activities, including orientation, training, virtual events, and check-ins
  • Interest in learning more about Brazil through cultural exchange and direct interaction with Brazilians

Application Requirements

  • A completed Application Form, with a personal statement of up to 500 words

Application Form (Undergraduates)
Application Form (Graduates)

Program Costs

MLAB has no program fee.


Contact Camilla Roberts, Program Coordinator