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Men's Leadership Project

Men's Leadership Project

In the Men's Leadership Project, UVA undergraduate men serve as big brothers to local middle school boys who want to succeed in school and have leadership potential, but need additional support to achieve their dreams. The big brothers and little brothers build strong, respectful relationships that help them both to grow as leaders in their schools, communities, and families.

How does MLP work?

A group of big brothers and little brothers spends one afternoon per week together at the little brothers’ middle school. Each pair of big and little brothers also gets together in their free time to do things they both enjoy. Activities such as a ropes course are used to bring the whole group together as a team and to challenge the boys to stretch themselves physically and emotionally. Many big and little brothers stay in touch when the school year is over, too. These are relationships that change lives in amazing ways for the big brothers and the little brothers.

How is MLP different from other mentoring programs?

Big and little brothers’ year together begins in the fall and continues through the school year. Taking Curry School courses on adolescent development while serving as MLP big brothers ensures that the undergraduate men understand their little brothers’ challenges. The courses prepare the big brothers to be the strong mentors that the boys need to thrive in middle school and beyond.

Who are the Big Brothers?

Big brothers are undergraduate men from any school at UVA who are interested in being a mentor and positive role model for a middle school boy. They apply during the spring semester or over the summer to become MLP big brothers at the start of the new school year. Men who are accepted enroll in one fall and one spring Curry School course on leadership development in boys. They commit to MLP’s weekly after-school sessions at the middle school as well as regular times to mentor one little brother individually.

Typical Activities for Interns on this team

Undergraduate interns with the Men's Leadership Project help Women's Center staff to keep the program running smoothly for the big and little brothers.