Mentors Needed for our Foster Youth

It has been awhile since I have posted about our Higher Education Mentoring Initiative.  We are holding several information sessions in July to recruit new mentors. if you are interested, please put these dates and times on your calendar now: July 10, July 18 and July 24. Each session is from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. 

The sessions will be held at the Hamilton County Administration Building, 138 Court St. Attend one and hear about the benefits of mentoring.

If you are someone interested in helping a youth in our community achieve academic succes, this is a perfect program for you. You will spend time helping a foster child graduate high school and go on to some type of post-high school success. You will also likely make a life-long friend.

We started this program because of a need. We saw our foster children struggling to graduate high school and move on to successful higher learning opportunities. Nationally, only 3 percent of foster children earn college degrees. Our numbers were similar. They were aging out with nowhere to go. They have much higher rates of homelessness, incarceration and other social problems than non-foster children.

The program goal is to reduce the number of foster youth who drop out of high school; increase the number who apply to and pursue higher education; and set foster youth on a path to successful careers and sustainable income.

With the great partnership we have with 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 and the Hamilton County Board of Commission, this has turned into a wonderful program. Since its start, 100 percent of the students have graduated high school! We served 37 students last year and most are pursuing higher education at schools such as UC, Cincinnati State, Great Oaks, the College of Mt. Saint Joseph and The Ohio State University

There is some commitment to being a mentor. You’ll commit to a six-hour training course and spending two hours a week with your mentee through high school graduation and on through their pursuit of post-secondary education.

To be considered for the mentor program, participants must fill out an application, undergo a background check and complete an interview process. This includes providing a copy of a valid drivers’ license and proof of insurance.

To obtain an application and for more information, contact Annie Schellinger, UC HEMI Program Coordinator, at 513-556-4368, or e-mail

by Jim Tinker

Filed Under: Communication

Tagged: child abuse, foster care, foster children, foster youth, hamilton county department of job and family services, hamilton county job and family services, higher education mentoring initiative, moira weir