Mentors for Hamilton County Foster Youth

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Higher Education mentoring Initiative (HEMI)

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Foster youth often face challenging life circumstances and for many, education is not a priority. HEMI (Higher Education Mentoring Initiative) provides Hamilton County foster youth a long-term mentoring relationship that begins in high school. HEMI's mission is to provide one-on-one mentors for 11th and 12th grade students to guide a path to high school graduation and self-sufficiency after graduation through post-secondary education, career education, job training or the military as post-secondary goals.

Mentors are volunteers from the community who typically meet once a week to assist, guide and support their mentee in both their academic and personal endeavors. Mentors and mentees also attend HEMI’s Monthly Meet-Ups, and other events throughout the year. These activities encourage greater connectivity, help strengthen the mentor/mentee relationship, enhance mentor training, and provide a time to have some fun together.

Mentors meet with youth 1 hour per week, at the mentee’s school, or at a time and place mutually agreed upon by the mentor and mentee. Volunteers will attend an orientation to HEMI, 3 Mentor Trainings (Trauma-Informed Care, Developmental Assets, Cultural Competency), and complete a BCI and FBI Background Checks (paid for by HCJFS)". Opportunities are available with 11th and 12th grade students in Hamilton County foster care.

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About Higher Education mentoring Initiative (HEMI)


260 E University Avenue, Cincinnati, OH 45219, US

Mission Statement

The Higher Education Mentoring Initiative (HEMI) provides Hamilton County foster youth a long-term academic mentoring relationship that begins in high school and is focused on awareness of, preparation for, and completion of post-secondary education and training.


HEMI is a partnership between Hamilton County Board of County Commissioners, Hamilton County Department of Job and Family Services, the University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati State Technical and Community College, Great Oaks Career Campuses, OhioMeansJobs and Mount St. Joseph University.


We'll work with your schedule.


Various Hamilton County SchoolsCincinnati, OH 45202



  • Mentoring
  • Performance Management
  • Management
  • Life Coaching


  • People 55+
  • Group


  • Driver's License Needed
  • Background Check
  • Must be at least 21
  • Orientation or Training
  • 1 hour per week
  • Orientation, 3 Required Mentor Training's, BCI and FBI Background Checks paid for by HCJFS, Engagement with Mentee in HEMI Events, when available.

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