University of Texas at Austin                                                             Division of Diversity and Community Engagement

Mentor Program

To learn more about our Project MALES Student Mentoring Program, please download a recent presentation at the San Antonio Mentoring Forum (Jan. 2014).

Project MALES Student Mentors – 2014-2015

PM Fall 2014 Retreat Group Picture

The Project MALES Student Mentoring Program is off to a great 2014-15 academic year. We have a total of 36 Mentors, 34 of which are returning from last academic year. This year we are continuing our mentoring partnerships  at Travis, Lanier, and Reagan High Schools in Austin ISD. Our Mentoring Site Coordinators Mike Gutierrez, Jesse Mondragon, and Juan Lopez, as well as the Project MALES student leaders have planned many engaging and dynamic activities throughout the academic year. Here is the schedule of events for fall 2014;

Fall 2014 Events

Recruiting Events
-Steps for Success (8/26, 4:00-7:00 p.m. at Gregory Gym/SAC Auditorium 1.402)
-Adelante (8/28, 6:30-8:30 p.m. at Gregory Gym and Plaza)
-General Tabling (9/2. 11:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m. at Jester Corner-21st & Speedway)
-General Tabling (9/3, 11:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m. at West Mall Area 5)
-Information Session #1 (9/3, 6:30-8:00 at Parlin 201)
-Bloq Party (9/5, 5:00-8:00 p.m. at Gregory Plaza)
-General Tabling (9/9, 11:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m. at Northeast Corner-21st & Speedway)
-General Tabling (9/10, 11:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m. at Northeast Corner-21st & Speedway)
-Information Session #2 (9/10, 6:30-8:00 at Parlin 201)
-Transfer Student Social (9/17, 5:30-7:00 p.m. at SAC Black Box Theater Room 2.304)

Fall Retreat
-Project MALES Fall Retreat  (9/20, 10:00 am -2:00 pm at Al-Kiva SZB 104 )

Platica Series: Agents of Change
-Project MALES Plática #1 Guest Speaker: Mr. Ramon Gomez (9/24, 6:30-8:30 pm at UTC 1.104)
-Project MALES Plática #2 Guest Speaker: Dr. Ramon Martinez (10/22, 6:30-8:30 pm at UTC 1.104)
-Project MALES Plática #3 Guest Speaker: Dr. Luis Urrieta, Jr.  (11/19, 6:30-8:30 pm at UTC 1.104)

Community Engagement Events
-One Human Race-Welcoming America Festival (9/17, 6:30-8:30 p.m. at Asian American Resource Center)
-Clean Up Day (10/18, TBA)
-Longhorn Halloween (11/2. TBA)

Fundraising Events
-Bake Sale #1 (9/22, 10:30 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. at Jester Corner-21st & Speedway)
-Red Mango (10/7, 4:00-7:00 p.m. at Red Mango, 2222 Rio Grande St. C120, Austin, TX 78705)
-Bake Sale #2 (10/13, 10:30 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. at Jester Corner-21st & Speedway)

Social Events
-Juan In A Million (9/27, 12:00-2:00 p.m. at Juan In A Million)
-Field Day (10/25, TBA)
-Halloween Haunted House (10/30, Haunted House on Highland Mall)
-End of Year Celebration (12/5, 4:30-6:30 p.m. at SZB 104 ( Al-Kiva) )

Project MALES undergraduate mentor, Jesse Mondragon, provides a testimonial about the importance of mentorship and what motivates him to stay involved.

About Us

The Project MALES Student Mentoring Program connects undergraduate students from the University of Texas at Austin with Austin-area high school males. Partnering with the XY-Zone Program, a male empowerment program from Communities in Schools in Central Texas, Project MALES Student Fellows & Mentors work with high school males in an effort to improve the educational attainment and college-going competencies of young men of color while also providing a safe space for these young students to discuss responsible manhood. The Project MALES Student Mentoring Program was piloted at William B. Travis High School (AISD) during the 2011-2012 academic year, and we have recently launched a second mentoring site for 2012-13. Fellows & Mentors visit with local high school students every week to mentor and discuss a variety of topics ranging from college preparation to financial literacy to the “soft” skills needed to succeed in college and beyond. For more information, contact Project MALES Director, Dr. Enrique Romo at You can also visit us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter.

The Model
The Project MALES Student Mentoring Program—currently in its third year of implementation at UT-Austin—fosters discussion and relationship-building among male undergraduate mentors and male high school students in the local school district. This model is a research-informed initiative that highlights mentoring as a way to leverage social capital among males of color at various points in the educational pipeline to ultimately build a stronger college-going culture among this group of students. The basic structure entails a “near-peer” mentoring philosophy, with college freshmen being paired with high school freshmen to allow for longer term bonds to develop.

The mentoring model takes a dynamic and intergenerational approach to achieve increased achievement and retention of male students of color both in secondary and postsecondary educational settings. This model brings together three key groups: (I) male professionals as role models, (II) current Latino male college students (both upperclassmen and first-years), and (III) younger Latino male students in local high schools. In this model, professionals (e.g., graduate students, student affairs practitioners, community leaders, and allies) serve as mentors to males of color in college. In turn, these college students have the opportunity to engage in mentoring local high school male students. This inter-generational model is structured around a variety of experiences that focus on leadership development, community engagement, and service. Mentors and mentees will engage in the following formal activities:

  • Weekly or Bi-weekly guided, purposeful peer-mentoring sessions across generational lines (professionals to college students, college students to high school students)
  • A weekly meeting among first-year college students (cohort-style experience) that will strengthen social bonds and cultivate a nurturing network between mentor participants
  • A monthly Pláticas series that will feature prominent Latino male speakers (e.g., professionals, role models) that will facilitate small group discussions among mentor participants
  • Semester-long community outreach and/or service projects that will involve both mentors and mentees at both participating colleges and high schools