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 over two hundred mentees who have participated in MLAB, most have gone on to study in Brazil's best universities, but many have also been admitted to some of the United States' most prestigious schools, including Harvard. 

The program, organized by the Harvard Brazil Office, takes place over three and a half months, with virtual sessions running from November-January, and includes virtual immersion activities in Brazil in December and 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 one or two mentees (at least 1,5 hrs/month)
  • Participation in (1) 60-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

  • September 26: Mentor Application Deadline
  • September 28-30: Mentor Applicant Interviews
  • October, November, December: 1.5hrs of individual/pair virtual mentorship sessions per month
  • October 20: Program Start
  • October 23: Group meeting
  • November 13: Group meeting
  • December 4: Group Meeting
  • January, 2022: 1.5hrs of virtual mentorship sessions; 3 days with virtual immersion activities with whole group
  • January 28, 2022: Program End


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 450 words

Application Form (graduate & undergraduate students)
Application Form (only for Returning MLAB mentors)

Program Costs

MLAB has no program fee.


Contact Camilla Roberts, Program Coordinator - Harvard Brazil Office