President Mason & MBK Connect 2023

We are our brother's keepers!

I am excited you have chosen John Jay as your college. I am inviting you to join a special program we have planned for outstanding young men like you: MBK Connect. In this program you will meet other successful Men of Color, get a head start on your classes, and share in fun experiences, all while earning a $1000 stipend, taking a free course, receiving a free MetroCard, free John Jay merch, and establishing a strong brotherhood before the fall semester starts. I believe in you and your dreams so I am investing in you. Getting a good start in college and exploring your interests in a community of supportive male peers and mentors is the best way to bring your dreams to life.

Here is the plan: 

  • Attend an online MBK Connect advisement and registration session on the afternoon of July 8.
  • Join a 3-day from (July 9, 10, 11) orientation and a 5-week summer course (July 15 - August 15th every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 9:30 am - 3:00 pm).
  • Select one of four exciting courses to take.
  • Attend your class three days a week and enjoy lunch, social activities, and chill study time together after.
  • Access to mentors and listen to inspiring speakers to learn of their college and professional journeys.
  • Receive a free, unlimited MetroCard for traveling to and from John Jay for the duration of the program.
  • Receive free tuition for this summer course.
  • Receive $1000 for completing the course.

Are you ready to start your John Jay journey this July with MBK Connect? Let us know by saying YES here. You will be contacted by a MBK Connect team member who can advise you on your choice of course and enroll you in the program. I look forward to welcoming you to John Jay this summer.


Karol V. Mason 

MBK Connect participants will receive free tuition for the course of their choosing, complimentary textbooks tailored to their course, an unlimited MetroCard at no cost, and upon successful completion of the course, a stipend of $1000. However, the advantages of MBK Connect lies in participants forge friendships and brotherhood, access invaluable mentorship, establish connections with esteemed faculty members, receive unwavering academic support, and cultivate transformative academic and social habits.

The 3-day orientation and the 5-week course will take place in person on the John Jay College of Criminal Justice campus, 524 West 59th Street, between 10th and 11th Avenues in Manhattan. On the third day of the orientation, July 11, program participants will take a trip off campus.  Transportation to and from the John Jay campus for this trip will be provided.

During Orientation Week, you should expect to be on campus:

July 9 9:30 am – 3:00 pm
July 10 9:30 am – 3:00 pm
July 11 9:30 am – 3:00 pm
July 16- August 15 – expect to be on campus
Tuesday – Thursday each week 9:30 am – 3:00 pm

Yes, program participants will receive a ticket to eat in the John Jay cafeteria or will have lunch provided each day they participate.

MBK Connect participants receive free tuition for the course of their choosing, complimentary textbooks tailored to their course, an unlimited MetroCard at no cost, and upon successful completion of the course, a stipend of $1000. However, the main advantage of MBK Connect lies in the friendships and brotherhood forged by participants, access to invaluable mentorship, connections with esteemed faculty members, unwavering academic support, and transformative academic and social habits.

  • Trips
  • $1,000 stipend
  • MetroCard
  • Free 3-credit course
  • Access to Fitness Center & Pool
  • Networking
  • Field Day
  • College tips

Courses were chosen because they are required for most students and will advance progress toward your degree. We have also selected excellent professors who, as Black and Latino men, have been in your shoes and want to help you launch your exceptional John Jay journey. If you know your major, we suggest certain courses based on majors. If you do not know your major don’t worry.


Course Options


AFR 140: Introduction to Africana Studies
CJBS 101: Introduction to the American Criminal Justice System
LLS 124: Latinx Communities in the United States
MAT 108: Social Science Math


Learn more about the courses

MBK stands for My Brother’s Keeper, the initiative started by President Barack Obama in 2014 to ensure that Black, Latino and Native American men can reach their full potential. John Jay College is an MBK Institution of Higher Education. We care about all students’ success and understand that brotherhood and mentorship are key to advancing the aspirations of our men of color.

Conceived by President Karol Mason in partnership with the Obama Foundation, MBK Connect is a labor of love by people across the college and centered in the Urban Male Initiative.

For more information about MBK Connect, you can call the Urban Male Initiative (UMI) at (646) 557-4557 or email The UMI Student Resource Center is located on the Lobby Level of the New Building at John Jay, in L73 and L74.

                                                         Click here to check out our 2023 MBK Connect convocation!