Brothers of Higher Learning Program
We provide a peer learning community during the first semester to help Black male students transition to college smoothly and pick up the knowledge and skills needed to maximize their experience.
HELPING MAXIMIZE THE COLLEGE EXPERIENCE
Transitioning to a college environment can be a stressful experience for anyone. The first semester is a critical time for establishing community and belonging, building and reinforcing self-esteem and self-awareness, understanding situations where you thrive and situations that may be more challenging, and learning how to ask for help. Our virtual 6-month program during students’ first semester was designed to help students live into the fullest expression of themselves and lift each other up as they start working towards their degree. Through content, community, care packages, and mentorship we provide supplemental support that inspire and motivates students to keep chasing their dreams.
HIGHER LEARNING TEXT SERIES
In July, we kickoff the program with our Higher Learning Text Series. Participants will receive a text message each weekday throughout the month with bite-sized content from the Higher Learning book with focused and useful advice for starting college on the right foot.
VIRTUAL PRE-SEMESTER WORKSHOP
In August, we follow up the text series with a half-day workshop; a virtual community gathering with all of our program participants to reflect on what they’ve learned in the text series, ask questions, hear from motivational speakers, and connect with their peers.
FIVE BROTHER BOX CARE PACKAGES
Each month between August and December we send students a new Brother Box care package with books, snacks, swag, and words of affirmation to celebrate their accomplishments and reward them for their ongoing contributions to our learning community.
HIGHER LEARNING COMMUNITY PLATFORM
Our program is rooted in bringing students together to learn alongside each other and from one another. In addition to virtual gatherings throughout the year, we provide access to a community platform so students can connect, encourage each other and foster relationships.
ONGOING TEXT MESSAGE MENTORSHIP
Students can text at any time for whenever they are in need of advice, guidance, or reassurances. We apply our core values of authenticity, community, courage, curiosity, and hope to holistic mentorship conversations to help students when they need us most.
MONTHLY VIRTUAL “REAL TALK” SESSIONS
Once a month we hold a virtual community gathering for students to come together, share stories through peer-to-peer check-ins, and hear from guest speakers and mentors about careers, current events, relationships, values and fulfilling their potential.
PROGRESS AND WELLBEING CHECK-INS
At the end of each month, we conduct pulse checks by asking students to fill out a short form to let us know how they’re feeling about life and school, what challenges they’re facing, what they’re looking forward to, and how we can be most helpful to them in the month ahead.
ADDITIONAL CONTENT & RESOURCES
Throughout the program we’ll also provide tons of additional content, opportunities to hear from role models and mentors in the larger Brother Box and Higher Learning communities, and any resources that students might request throughout their first year.
STUDENT ENROLLMENT APPLICATIONS OPEN IN MAY
Applications open on May 23, 2022 for students entering their first year of college in Fall 2022. Space is limited!
Our Unique Approach
HOLISTIC & HUMAN-CENTERED
Our focus goes beyond helping check traditional boxes of “success.” We honor the full spectrum of Black boys’ humanity and create a brave space for them to explore their unique gifts, feelings, and values.
BROTHER BOX CARE PACKAGES
Our care packages serve as a tangible reminder to our boys that they are valued and we have their back.
LIGHT TOUCH, SUPPLEMENTAL CURRICULUMS
We know how busy life can be, and we know we’re not the only ones working towards our vision. So, we keep our programs simple, easy, and supplemental.
AFFORDABLE FOR ALL
Our “Pay What You Can Promise” ensures that everyone has access to our programs, regardless of the ability to pay some, all, or none of the fees.
IN COLLABORATION WITH DR. BRIAN PETERSON, AUTHOR OF “HIGHER LEARNING”
“With more than two decades of student life and teaching experience, all too often I’ve seen students struggle – not just academically, but socially, financially and culturally – on campus. With the right tools and insights, these very same students can flourish and grow. I want to help every student face these challenges and shape their own success story. This drives my day-to-day work directing Makuu, the University of Pennsylvania’s Black Cultural Center, as well as my efforts outside of Penn.
And it is the reason why I wrote Higher Learning. Higher Learning is about helping students make the most of themselves – maybe even going well beyond what they initially imagined – and lifting up others along the way.”Learn More About Dr. Peterson
Program Eligibility, Enrollment, and Fees
- Our Brothers of Higher Learning Program is open to all incoming college freshmen in the United States who identify as Black males. All programming is virtual.
- Students are required to complete the pre-enrollment application and sign an enrollment form/waiver upon their acceptance into the program.
- We ask that students commit to staying engaged in the program throughout the first semester of their freshman year. We’ve designed this program to be a virtual, light-touch, and supplemental way to support students. We simply ask for students to communicate as circumstances shift throughout the semester.
- If students fail to submit their Monthly Pulse Checks for two consecutive months, we reserve the right to dismiss the student from the program.
- The enrollment application opens on May 23, 2022. Interested students entering their first year of college in Fall 2022 should fill out the enrollment application Form by June 30, 2022.
- Once your application form has been submitted, we will reach out to schedule a quick, virtual call to get to know you. This is not a formal interview, simply a chance for us to put a name to a face and answer any questions you might have about the program. We like to set expectations and ensure that we’re on the same page with everyone.
- We will inform students of their acceptance into the program on a rolling basis. Upon acceptance, students will be asked to sign an enrollment form/waiver as a final commitment.
- The program will kick off with the first virtual session of our Foundations Workshop in mid-July.
Fees: Pay What You Can
- Our Brothers of Higher Learning Program is valued at $149, but you only pay what you can along a sliding scale. Thanks to our generous donors and funders, our “Pay What You Can Promise” ensures that everyone has access to our programs, regardless of the ability to pay some, all, or none of the fees. College is expensive enough as it is! Finances should never stand in the way of supporting each other and lifting up our dreams. So when we say pay what you can, we mean it!