Help foster kids finish school

Recruitment is under way for mentors to get involved in a unique partnership that helps foster children aging out of the system to finish high school and college.

The Higher Education Mentoring Initiative (HEMI) – a partnership represented by the University of Cincinnati’s Partnership for Achieving School Success (PASS), Cincinnati State Technical and Community College, Great Oaks Institute of Technology and Career Development, Hamilton County Job and Family Services and the Hamilton County Board of Commissioners – is recruiting mentors to serve 15 high school students in Hamilton County foster care.


This is the fifth year for the HEMI partnership, which celebrated its first graduate last spring. Mariah Maxwell earned two bachelor’s degrees from UC over a three-year period. She has since earned a master’s degree – all while caring for her two kids.

“The HEMI program opens a door that many of our foster children thought closed long ago,” said HCJFS Director Moira Weir. “Turning 18 without a family support system – it is difficult enough to survive, let alone pursue higher education. When a mentor sits down and explains how higher education doesn’t have to be a dream – that it can be a reality – you see their eyes light up and the hope spread across their faces. This is their chance to make it.”

HEMI now has 52 mentors paired with 52 youth and is recruiting 15 new mentors for 15 more students. Weir2010

Mentors must apply, undergo a background check, be interviewed and provide a copy of a valid drivers’ license and proof of insurance.

To learn more, you can attend a one-hour information session on the following dates:

Tuesday, July 8

Tuesday, July 15

Tuesday, July 22

These sessions will be offered from 5:30-6:30 p.m., in Conference Room 603 of the County Administration Building, located at 138 E. Court Street, Cincinnati, Ohio 45202.

Mentors must attend a training program that will take place on Aug. 2, after they have been cleared for the initial screening process, or they must attend an evening training program on Aug. 12. For more information, contact Annie Schellinger, UC HEMI Program Coordinator, at 513-556-4368, or e-mail



by Jane Prendergast

Filed Under: About Us, Children's Services

Tagged: HEMI, moira weir