Higher Education Mentoring Initiative

Every year, between 120 and 150 young people "age out" of Hamilton County's foster care system. Less than one-third graduate high school. Less than one out of five takes the ACT or completes a financial aid packet.

In 2009, Greg Vehr, Vice President for Governmental Relations at the University of Cincinnati, Hamilton County Commissioner Greg Hartmann , and Director of Hamilton County JFS Moira Weir joined in partnership to develop the Higher Education Mentoring Initiative.

The HEMI Program recruits, trains and supports mentors to establish positive long-term relationships with foster care youth. HEMI mentors assist, encourage and support student academic achievement through high school and provide a direct pathway to higher education.
The goal of this initiative is to match young people emancipating from foster care in Hamilton County with opportunities to pursue higher education, at the college of their choice.

This initiative is supported by a partnership, which includes representatives from the University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati State and Great Oaks Institute of Technology and Career Development, Hamilton County Board of Commissioners, and Hamilton County Department of Job and Family Services.

For example, UC matches interested students with mentors who are already enrolled in the College of Education, and to house them in its Generation I dorm complex, in order to facilitate a home environment and peer support structure for students.

HEMI Herald

Read issues of the HEMI newsletter:
- Fall 2009 edition.
- Winter 2010 edition
- Spring 2010 edition
- Winter 2010 edition

To learn more, please contact:

Annie Dick, HEMI Program Coordinator, (513) 556-4368, dickar@ucmail.uc.edu
HEMI Partners