What is ZEAL?
Brief History of ZEAL
ZEAL originally started in fall of 2005. The incentive to create the program started with former UNM athletes that felt a program should be implemented based upon the need for an outlet for Black student-athletes. Once the idea for a program was considered, Scott Carreathers and Dr. Jamal Martin collaborated with one another, brainstorming the name, vision, and means of implementation for the program. Within the first couple of years of implementation, there were over 17 athletes that participated within the program, with 12 of the athletes graduating from UNM and 2 going on to become college football coaches. The pioneers and past coordinators of the program consisted of Scott Carreathers, Dr. Jamal Martin, Ron Wallace, Orlando Leavell, and James Newton.
The ZEAL program offers an opportunity to connect with African American student-athletes through a multidimensional mentorship approach. Edwards (2010) argued Black athletes would experience crises if Black communities did not continue to dream of excellence in sports while highlighting that their achievement relied heavily on Black community support. ZEAL uses research and existing literature to support these students offering them one-on-one mentorship towards their academic and athletic success.
The ZEAL Process
Mentors and mentees receive training, engage in programming, community capacity building, and community service opportunites throughout the academic year. Each mentor/mentee relationship is unique as various sports have varying time commitments and we recognize mentors have varying work schedules. Mentors and mentees are expected to commit to about 5 hours a month through the academic year.
Apply to Become a ZEAL Mentor now! Click HERE to access the application