AUSTIN (KXAN) — Statistics show African-American and Latino males are falling behind their peers in school and in life after school.

No one knows this better than Dr. Emmet Campos, Ph.D., a University of Texas professor who has spent 30 years studying the subject. Now he is using his findings to lead a summer program designed to get middle school and high school boys from Austin ISD on the path to college.

Project MALES is a three-day program in which black and Latino undergraduates at UT, mostly men, mentor young students on leadership, writing and career readiness.

“Actually, that’s huge (to see the campus) because they don’t see the University of Texas necessarily accessible. They don’t see it as necessarily welcoming. So, what they see with these young men, they see someone who looks like them, has similar experiences,” said Campos standing outside Gus Garcia Young Men’s Leadership Academy.

Campos says people often ask him why he focuses on male students only.  He says statistics show Latino and African-American boys are not only falling behind white males, but they’re also losing ground to girls of their own race.

“We know mentoring works. There’s a lot of research that shows developing relationships with these young men, offering them a role model, offering them support, offering them access to the network of resources that we’re able to kind of keep them on track, keep them on path,” said Campos.

The Project MALES program is from June 15 to 17.  This year’s class is full.  If you are interested in getting your child involved next year, Campos recommends talking to your school’s principal about joining the program.