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“My mentor and I have a great connection. She is studying women’s health, and I want to be an OB/GYN. She shows me that women can make a difference in our community.”

- Mariama

Mentors are a key component of MERIT’s holistic support model. A MERIT mentor plays the role of college counselor, career mentor, academic tutor, and lifelong supporter. Each scholar is paired with a mentor during high school and a second college support coach as alumni. These mentors provide personal and academic support through weekly meetings and conversations.

MERIT Mentors serve as positive role models to help scholars navigate the transition through high school and into college. Mentors inspire our scholars to become socially conscious health care leaders and show them what it takes to achieve this goal.

“What I love the most about MERIT is the positive environment and how the staff, mentors, and other scholars push you to do better and go beyond what you thought you were capable of.”

- Shakaiya

Mentors Visit the Saturday Program

In addition to frequent communication and interactions outside of the program, mentors and scholars have the opportunity to connect during monthly Mentors Days.

Each month, MERIT join the Saturday Program for a variety of activities. Mentor Days include professional development for mentors, additional academic support for scholars, and structured enrichment activities.


During past Mentor Days, mentors and scholars have volunteered at community service events, collaborated on health disparity projects, and taken field trips for team-building and leadership training.

Scholars from the Class of 2018 and their mentors during a trip to Outward Bound for team-building and leadership training

“Allie shares my goal of becoming a pediatrician, but it’s more than that. She’s like a big sister who is there for me whenever I need anything.” 

- Coty, Class of 2017

Allie, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine

Connecting with the Medical Community

Our group of dedicated MERIT mentors is made up primarily by graduate students and working professionals in a wide variety of health fields.  The mentor selection process is highly selective, and we prioritize mentors who share the backgrounds of our scholars and have experience working with youth. Our mentors became increasingly invested in recruiting their colleagues, allowing MERIT to strengthen our work with the medical community to support our scholars.



times as many mentor applications as we had spots available



of new mentors identify as underrepresented minorities



complete a 3-year commitment

Promote diversity in medicine and empower the next generation of health care leaders by supporting a MERIT scholar:

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