At HEMI, we seek to provide long-term mentoring relationships that help prepare our youth for post-secondary education and training. This mission would be impossible without our amazing mentors. I recently had the chance to interview Claire Wagner about her experience as a mentor.
Clair Wagner is the Director of University News and Communications at Miami University. She lives in Colerain Township and is the mother of two sons. She is the mentor of Darionna Daniels, a senior at Colerain High School. They have been paired together for about a year and a half.
Claire’s husband Chris, Darionna’s sister, Diamond, Darionna, and Clair at Kings Island.
Claire become a mentor after seeing an article about HEMI published in her local newspaper. She had been very involved in her two son’s education and life, and now that they are grown up and out of the house, she realized that she could still be involved in someone else’s life.
She is currently assisting Darionna in her search for college. Darionna is currently involved in a Cosmetology program and is looking to pursue business programs. Claire has been involved by taking Darionna on college visits and helping with FAFSA and other college processes. She is also teaching Darionna to crochet in their spare time.
“All you need is time and stability.”
Claire Wagner, HEMI Mentor
What lessons have you learned as a mentor?
“I always thought I wasn’t a judgy kind of person, but becoming a friend of a foster youth, I really learned not to judge others. I learned a lot about how to listen to and understand other people’s experiences.” Clair’s experiences helped her grow as a professional and an individual by allowing her to become a more compassionate person.
What advice do you have for other mentors?
“The HEMI trainings are very valuable, try not to miss any. The experience of being a mentor is very rewarding and is not that much time. All it is, is a commitment to another human being. All you need is time and stability. It really is an eyeopener, committing to one individual makes a huge difference.”
What is your favorite moment with your mentee?
“Making her laugh.” Clair is also able to work with Darionna on her school work and being able to see “the lightbulb go off when she finally understands” is something that Claire always looks forward to.
Claire and Darionna during Juneteenth 2018.