SLI seeks to strengthen communities across North Carolina by providing Latina/o students with equitable access to opportunities in higher education and civic engagement.  


To inspire and empower the next generation of Latina/o leaders by building a community that promotes academic excellence and social responsibility.  

About SLI

SLI was founded in 2003 by Dr. Peter Kaufman to address challenges in North Carolina educational institutions resulting from the dramatic increase in its Latino population. SLI is designed to help students and families navigate the educational system and pursue higher education. SLI addresses the educational achievement gap by leveraging cultural and social capital to provide “near-peer” mentoring to help Latino students prepare for, enroll to, and complete college.  

Through its high school programs, SLI accepts and matches selected students in their sophomore year of high school/college to begin a 3-year journey that sees high school students receive mentoring and academic support from undergraduate college students and professors.  

At UNC, Latina/o students also receive support through SLI-Professionals, a program providing Latina/o students with the tools and resources needed to pursue careers in business, law, STEM, and public policy. 

These programs allow the SLI community to not only put Latino/a students on a path to higher education, but also helps ensure college completion and exposure to future opportunities, including graduate school and potential career paths.

SLI is hard at work preparing for a new site launch!  If you'd like more information about what SLI has to offer, please e-mail Ricky Hurtado at rhurtado@unc.edu.