Mentoring and Language Acquisition in Brazil (MLAB)

MLAB 2017-2018

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 five have been admitted to some of the United States´ most prestigious schools, including Harvard.


•1:1 mentor-mentee ratio

•Four months of virtual mentorship sessions

•2-week-long immersion with mentees in São Paulo, Brazil in January 2018

•Opportunities for mentors to improve Portuguese language skills

•Ongoing mentor training & support

•Financial aid to cover travel costs to Brazil for most participants



October – December 2017: 2 virtual mentorship sessions per month
January 5 – 18, 2017: In-person mentorship in São Paulo, Brazil

February 2018: 2 virtual mentorship sessions


Harvard University students interested in being an MLAB mentor:

  • should have taken at least 1 Portuguese course in the past or be currently enrolled in at least an introductory course;
  • should have mentoring or related experience (or a strong desire to mentor);
  • must commit to mentoring and inspiring their Brazilian mentees over four months of virtual mentorship sessions;
  • must travel to São Paulo, Brazil in January 2018 for immersion with mentees;
  • must participate in all MLAB activities, including orientation, training, and check-ins;
  • must be interested in learning more about Brazil through cultural exchange and direct interaction with Brazilians.

Brazilian high school students take part in an internal application process as determined by Harvard's Brazil Office and participating partner institutions.


  • Plan involving virtual mentorship sessions
  • Engage in active listening with mentees
  • Stimulate and contribute to mentee´s interests
  • Research and share relevant opportunities and resources with mentees
  • Monthly check-ins throughout virtual mentorship
  • Assist in planning January immersion based on mentee´s interests and needs

Students selected to be MLAB mentors must be prepared to apply for a visa immediately after being selected (depending on passport's country of issue). Students must also have a passport with an expiration date after July 19, 2018. If you do not have a passport, you must apply for one immediately after being selected.

MLAB has no program fee! Expenses in São Paulo are fully covered (transfers, housing, meals, cultural activities). Students must pay for their own airfare* as well as passport and visa application fees.
*Students on financial aid are eligible for financial support to cover expenses with plane tickets.

APPLICATION (Harvard College)
Deadline: Thursday, September 14, 11:59 pm

Click here to apply!


For more information, please contact Tiago Genoveze, Program Coordinator, at