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Benjamin E. Mays Mentoring Program

Thea Bowman AHANA and Intercultural Center

Students benefit from the encouragement, sound advice, and ongoing support from those who have succeeded in reaching their goals. Students are able to better define educational, career and life goals with such resources at hand, particularly having support through whatever obstacles they may face during these times. The focus of the Benjamin Elijah Mays Mentoring Program at Boston College is to assist undergraduate students in building these solid foundations. The underlying objective of the program is to inspire students to strive toward excellence and giving them a steady advocate while they navigate college.


Mentoring Program

Negotiating a large university campus can be challenging for any freshman, but AHANA (African American, Hispanic, Asian, Native American) students at Boston College can find support through the Benjamin Elijah Mays Mentoring Program. This mentoring program, named after the great educator Dr. Benjamin Elijah Mays, who himself served as a mentor to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and many others, was established in 1991 by the Office of AHANA Student Programs under a Ford Foundation grant for improving campus diversity. The Mays Mentoring Program is designed to provide undergraduate students with an opportunity to have a personal connection with a faculty member, administrator, or staff who can guide them through the college environment.

The Benjamin Elijah Mays Mentoring Program attempts to ameliorate potential isolation and loneliness that are often experienced by undergraduate students by pairing them with a mentor who is willing and dedicated to develop a relationship with undergraduate students and to follow them through their undergraduate career at Boston College.

There are currently over 70 mentors, including faculty members, doctoral students, administrators, and staff, and 160 students enrolled as protégés in the program. By working with students beginning in the first year, mentors assist protégés in building solid foundations that help to ensure the successful achievement of their goals. Mentors provide encouragement and support as students develop habits and attitudes that lead to academic and personal success.



Students: There are currently a few openings. Please click here for the protege application. Please feel free to contact the program administrator ( for more information.

Faculty/Staff: Please click here to complete the mentor application.


For more information about the Benjamin E. Mays Mentoring Program, please contact:

Joana Maynard, Senior Assistant Director

Boston College

Thea Bowman AHANA and Intercultural Center

Maloney Hall Suite 455

Chestnut Hill, MA 02467

Tel: 617-552-3358; Fax: 617-552-4313




How does the Mentoring Program work?


Mentors and protégés each go through an orientation process that introduces the program. Mentors are required to participate in a Summer Institute (details below). Protégés are required to have a one-on-one orientation session with the program’s student coordinator. Mentor/protégé orientations are also meant to establish programmatic expectations before formally getting matched. For the protégés, it is also any opportunity for the program to get a better understanding of what he/she is looking for from a mentor and the program.

Mentors and protégés are then paired according to students' academic and life interests and mentor's experiences. Once they meet, they develop a relationship by:

  • Regularly meeting and keeping in communication with one another.
  • Attending various program events sponsored by the Benjamin Elijah Mays Mentoring Program.

How does the matching process work?

Both new mentor and protégés are asked to complete a profile form. This form is used for the matching process. We try our best to get an understanding of what each party is looking for in a mentoring relationship (remember, mentoring is a two-way road!) and match a protégé to a mentor based on interests and experiences. Please note that the matching process is not an exact science and often can take some time in order to find the best match possible. If you have not gotten an e-mail from the program about your match, it only means that we are still actively and carefully looking!

What do I do once I am matched?

We recommend to protégés and mentors to get in communication (e-mail exchange, phone call, etc.) to set up a first meeting. Many newly matched pairs will attend the next Mays Mentoring Program event as the first meeting. From there, an introduction and conversation about expectations are recommended and then both individuals take it from there!

What if I have questions or concerns?

One of the benefits of participating in a formal mentoring program is that you have a greater support system beyond your mentor/protégé. Mentors can contact the program administrator (Joana Maynard) for any questions or concerns. Protégés primary contact is the student coordinator who is an upper-class Boston College student who is familiar with the program, OASP, the university, as well as mentoring. The Mays Mentoring Program serves as a facilitator and helps mentors and protégés to develop and build their mentoring relationship.


For Protégés:

Where do I start?

Students need to complete the protégé profile form. Once you submit the form, the student coordinator will be contact with you to set up your one-on-one orientation sessions. From there, you will be contacted as soon as we find the right mentor match for you!

There are currently a few openings. Please click here for the protege application. Please feel free to contact the program administrator ( for more information.


For Mentors:

Where do I start?

Dr. Benjamin E. Mays Institute for the Preparation of Faculty Members: Mentors attend a summer institute to prepare them for the mentoring role. Since mentors and students come from a variety of cultural and racial backgrounds, the institute offers sessions on cross-cultural communications, responsibilities of mentors and techniques for building relationships. All sessions are presented by experts in the field. Current protégés also participate in the institute sharing their stories and describing how mentors have helped them make the transition to university life.

What if I missed the Summer Institute?

Mentors are welcomed to join the program at anytime throughout the year. Although the Summer Institute only occurs in the summer, the program administrator may plan a brief orientation workshop for new mentors who wish to join during the academic year. These orientation workshops usually happen once a semester and last up to an hour. These orientations will introduce the program and communicate mentor/protégé expectations to get mentors started. However, mentors are required to participate in the Summer Institute to officially be part of the program.

Where can I find the Mentor Profile Form?


Please e-mail the completed form to You will be contacted as soon as we have found the right protégé match for you!


Mentoring Resources:


The events coordinated by the Benjamin Elijah Mays Mentoring Program are opportunities for mentors and protégés to formally get together. The events are also a great opportunity to get to know other mentors and protégés in the program. Although these events are not required, we highly encourage mentors and protégés to attend and to attend together. Of course, if your mentor/protégé is unable to attend, please feel free to attend anyways. Again, there are plenty of other wonderful people to meet and get to know.


Kick-Off Event

The Kick-Off event is the first Mays Mentoring Program’s event. It usually occurs in October and is the first opportunity for mentors and protégés to officially meet. The Kick-Off usually has a nice sit-down dinner and provides a space for mentors and protégés to introduce themselves. Occasionally, the Kick-Off Event will feature a speaker or panel to speak about the mentoring relationship.


Saturday Dim Sum Brunch

The Dim Sum event is the only off-campus and weekend trip within the program. Like all the other events, it is an opportunity to further develop your relationship with your mentor/protégé over delicious food, in this case, dim sum! Additionally, it is an great opportunity to get to know downtown Boston (particularly Chinatown). Travel accommodations are provided (bus pick up on campus, bus drop off back to campus). Of course, if you are familiar with the area, you can meet the rest of us there!


Holiday Dinner

Somewhere between the end of the semester, the start of finals, and before the long winter break, there is the Mays Holiday Dinner. This dinner is a opportunity for mentors and protégés alike to take a break from all the end-of-the-semester chaos to have a nice warm meal with your mentor/protégé and the program.


Ice-Cream Social

The Ice-Cream Social is an informal event toward the start of the spring semester. Mentor and protégés are welcomed back from their winter break with ice cream, likely while we are still in the middle of winter (welcome to New England!).


Mays Mentor Roundtable

This is a mentor-only event where we provide brunch to mentors. The Mentor Roundtable is an opportunity for the mentors to provide the program with feedback about their experience throughout their participation as a Mays mentor. It is a great way for the program to continue to evolve and grow. We continually strive to improve the program for current mentors and protégés as well as for the future. Just as mentoring relationships learn and develop, so does the program!


Closing Ceremony

To finish off the spring semester and the year, the Mays Mentoring Program hosts our annual Closing Ceremony. The ceremony serves as an encouragement for mentors and protégés to finish their semesters strong, reflect on their mentoring experience, and is also a time to celebrate the Goldsmith Mentor of the Year. The George Goldsmith Mentor of the Year Award honors an outstanding Mays mentor (nominated by protégés and carefully selected by the program administrator and student coordinator) and is immortalized on the Goldsmith Award Plaque displayed in the Office of AHANA Student Programs.

There are some great off-campus places to check out with your Mays mentor/protege. These are various locations of things-to-do, places-to-see, and good-eats in the Greater Boston area (listed by area). Have fun exploring a little bit of Boston!

Have a recommendation that you do not see on the list? Tell us at:

Cleveland Circle

Coolidge Corner


Harvard Ave/Packard’s Corner



Newton Center

Washington Street


Established in 2010, the Goldsmith Mentor of the Year Award is given upon the conclusion of each academic year to a committed and exemplary member of the Benjamin Elijah Mays Mentoring Program who has made significant contributions as a mentor to Boston College students.

The award was established in honor of Dr. George Goldsmith (1923-2009), who was a professor in the Physics Department at Boston College for forty years. Besides being an exceptional teacher and scholar, Dr. Goldsmith mentored many undergraduate and graduate students over his long career and was one of the original Benjamin Mays mentors when the program began in 1991.

Criteria: Selection of the Goldsmith Award winner will be based on two criteria:

  • Protégé recommendation(s)
    • Did the mentor go above and beyond in their effects?
    • What impact did the mentor make in the protégé’s life?
  • Quality of service to the Benjamin Elijah Mays Mentoring Program
    • Was the mentor a committed member of the program?
    • What was the record of service for this mentor?


Process: Protégé will be contacted for their nominations by the student program coordinator in the spring semester. Protégés wishing to nominate a mentor should adhere to the specified deadline on the nomination form. The program administrator in collaboration with the student program coordinator will review and select the award winner. The award will be presented at the Closing Ceremony at the end of the spring semester.