Black Bear Leaders

Black Bear Leaders logo

Leadership | Engagement | Academics
Development | Enrichment | Recreation | Service

Black Bear Leaders is an innovative, cutting-edge program that provides first-year students with a unique opportunity to connect with peers, academics, resources, activities and the whole UMaine campus. The purpose of this program is to get first-year students plugged in to their academics, major, future career, campus resources, local community, and the UMaine student organizations and activities available. Each Leader is matched with an upperclass student Coach. Coaches meet with their Leaders individually every other week to provide support through their first year of college, address any questions or concerns that arise, and get them engaged in activities to ensure they are getting the most out of their UMaine experience. Coaches also work as a team to organize group programs based on the needs and interests of the Leader they work with.

The Sophomore Owls & Eagles are the core group of Coaches.  They work to plan fun trips and activities to bring the group together as a team. In the past 3 years we have visited Boston, Portland, Acadia National Park, and Baxter State Park. More fun is planned for this year!

Wondering what kind of activities we do? Below is just a sample:

  • Overnight Trips (including sporting events, arts performances, and fun!!)
  • Study Tips & Study Groups
  • Crafts
  • Resume Workshop
  • Rock Climbing
  • Fitness Classes, Soccer, Basketball and other Campus Rec activities
  • MaineBound Trips & Activities
  • Career Fair, Internship Workshop, Interview Skills Training
  • Study-Abroad Workshop
  • Healthy High 5k and other races
  • College Writing Workshop
  • “How to handle what life throws at you”
  • Library and Campus Tours
  • Performances at the Collins Center for the Arts
  • Movies & Concerts
  • BearFest, Relay for Life, Out of the Darkness Walk, Hike for the Homeless, etc.
  • Black Bear Sports!

Why should you join Black Bear Leaders? This is what our Leaders have to say . . .

Group posing infront of Hard Rock Cafe

“It was a great experience, and introduced me to many of campus’ resources and activities.”

“I’ve been presented so many opportunities through this. Black Bear Leaders motivates me to be more involved with the regular campus activities such as the (Wednesday) movies, going to the gym, the Healthy High 5k, etc.”

“Because it does help you get involved on campus and make you feel less alone as a new student.”

“It was such a great experience to help me get more involved with the things offered here on campus and also in the surrounding area. Great way to meet new people and not just your roommate and it is an incentive to leave your dorm room and studies every once and awhile.”

“I became involved in so many things I wouldn’t have known about if it wasn’t for this group.”

“It allows you to try a variety of new things for free and to meet new people and step out of your comfort zone.”

“It was a Great First Year! 🙂 ”

“The most beneficial programs I attended were the ones in the library. It was nice to have people to go there with and study. I learned a lot about other things that you can do there, like borrow laptops or headphones.”

“The trip to Boston was definitely my favorite program! I met more new people, and the experience as a whole was awesome. It was the first professional sports game I have ever been to, so that was really cool.”

“I don’t think there were any programs that weren’t worth my time!”

“The Leadership Conference was very beneficial! I loved listening to the speaker they brought in to talk to us. He was very motivational and really instilled in most of us (I believe) that any goal was achievable; we just needed to put our foot forward.”

“The resume program at the Career Center was most useful…it got us into the Career Center and showed how much it offered. It was well worth it.”

“The most beneficial programs that I attended this year were the study sessions on Wednesday nights, because I could get a lot of homework done.”

“I enjoyed it from beginning to end. Everyone was so nice and helpful, easy to talk to as well.”


If you think you would benefit from a little extra support during your first year at the University of Maine, Black Bear Leaders is the right program for you. We are here to have fun and to help you succeed!