Eligibility Requirements

A MERIT Mentor must be:

  • A current undergraduate or graduate student whose career plans include working as a health care profession
    • Medical, nursing, public health, pharmacy, biomedical science, and social work students are encouraged to apply!
  • Enrolled in a school located near Baltimore City and willing to commit to MERIT through the scholar's high school graduation
  • Graduating in the Spring of 2016 or later

Responsibilities and Expectations

Mentors are life coaches. They answer questions about what it's like to be in college or medical school, how to set goals, how to manage time, how to stay motivated during challenging times, and how to use effective habits in everyday life.

A mentor's goal is to inspire his or her MERIT Scholar to become a leader dedicated to eliminating health care disparities and to show the Scholar what it takes to get there. 

  • Some activities MERIT mentors have planned and carried out with their scholars are:
    • Touring campus and a research lab
    • Meeting for ice cream
    • Discussing current events
    • Inviting scholars to lectures
    • Providing feedback on college essays 
  • If selected, mentors are expected to:
    • Attend a mentor training session in late February
    • Attend the Kick-Off Event in early March and the End-of-Year BBQ in May
    • Communicate weekly (phone, email, text) with their Scholar
    • Arrange an in-person meeting with their Scholar twice per semester 

Selection Criteria


  • A strong desire to make an impact in the life of an ambitious Scholar from one of Baltimore's inner-city schools
  • A strong desire to eliminate health care disparities in Baltimore City interests that align with the interests of the Scholar
  • Touches base with Scholar even when not required to do so


  • Keeps in touch with MERIT leadership/Illuminate the Path Coordinator on a regular basis and when problems arise
  • Gets in touch with Scholar relentlessly
  • Has the ability to relate personal past and current journey to Scholar's past, present, and future journey


  • Updates Mentor contact page as required biweekly
  • Attends all required sessions
  • Engages professionally and genuinely in Mentor sessions
  • Attends as many sessions as possible that Scholars are required to attend


  • Makes regular contact with Scholar – is able to contact Scholar on a biweekly basis and is able to meet with Scholar twice per semester
  • Is supportive of Scholar and desires to be a stakeholder for Scholar
  • Forms connections with all MERIT community members
  • Gets to know the Scholar personally and shares information about their own work and life
  • Is at the same level in own schooling (sophomore, junior, senior – if undergrad) as Scholar

Ownership of future outcomes

  • Understands that the burden of contact between Mentor and Scholar is on the Mentor
  • Understands that Mentor represents a repository of knowledge to be utilized by their Scholar, but also that the Mentor-Scholar relationship is one of reciprocal growth
  • Exposes Scholar to new opportunities

Apply Now

You may submite your application by downloading, completing, and emailing this Word Document or by completing the online application at this linkYou may choose to use the Word document to draft your responses and then copy and paste your answers into the online form.

Required Reading) To answer section 4 of the mentor application, you will need to read this short article

Questions/Comments? Please direct them to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Application Deadline) Monday, December 23rd, 11:59 p.m.


Applicants considered further will be invited to attend an interview day in late January or early February.

Front Page Baltimore Sun

Baltimore Sun feature on MERIT Scholars participating in research at Johns Hopkins: 

Tyren Day