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HEMI Mentors Help Unlock Student Success

Mentors & Mentors Celebrate Mentor Appreciation Month at Houdini’s Escape Room and Hamilton Inn.

National Mentoring Month is a campaign held each January to promote youth mentoring in the United States. It was inaugurated in 2002, and is spearheaded by the Harvard School of Public Health, MENTOR, and the Corporation for National and Community Service.

This month, HEMI recognizes our 100+ mentors supporting student success. Mentors and Mentees separated into four different groups at Houdini’s Escape Room on January 16, 2020. They each successfully escaped their rooms and walked over to the Hamilton Inn. Dinner included all the fix-in’s but the ribs and pulled chicken were the best! Again, HEMI thanks our mentors for their volunteerism and dedication to helping foster youth and alumni pursue their educational goals.

Announcing February’s Meet-Up

The next HEMI Meet-Up will be Thursday, February 6, from 6:00-8:00 at Peoples Church. Please R.S.V.P. to your program specialist to reserve your spot. The night will feature Dr. Pedapati and he will teach HEMI Mentors how to set realistic goals for mentorship.

Dr. Ernest Pedapati is a physician in pediatric medicine, child and adult psychiatry who specializes in the treatment of children and adolescents with developmental disorders. He is an Assistant Professor in the Division of Psychiatry and the Division of Neurology at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center and the University of Cincinnati Medical School. In 2016, he co-authored a textbook considering the impact of children’s individual strengths and weaknesses in psychotherapy.  He is a principal investigator in the Neurobehavioral Research group at CCHMC and is broadly funded by the National Institutes of Health, Autism Speaks, the Fragile X Research Association, and the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Research Foundation.


This month, HEMI Challenged our mentees to share how their mentor’s ROCK and they wrote some powerful messages of gratitude.

HEMI Mentor Referral

Please Refer a friend, colleague, and/or family member to become a HEMI Mentor. Refer to

Do you have a HEMI Success Story idea?

Please contact


Dean Larry Johnson also honored as a Distinguished Supporter

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. Post-secondary education is not seen as an attainable option for many teens in foster care.  However, in Hamilton County, foster youth are defying national odds in attending and graduating from post-secondary institutions across the country.

This year, 49 mentees participated in a rigorous application process and received over $100,000 to pursue their post-secondary goals: 1) Twenty-one students received High School and 1st year post-secondary schoalrships, 2) Four students received the High school essay award 3) Fifteen students received post-secondary scholarships, and 4) and nine students received re-engagement scholarships.

Every HEMI mentee in attendance also received a gift or giftcard, donated by CECH at the University of Cincinnati. The College of Education, Criminal Justice, and Human Services, with the School of Information Technology (CECH) is dedicated to making a difference in our communities through outreach, academic programs, and community partnerships.

Dean Larry Johnson was honored as a Distinguished HEMI Supporter. Dr. Johnson was essential in the creation of HEMI, and his dedication tothe program is a considerable factor in HEMI’s continued success. He has championed HEMI not only throughout the College of Education, Criminal Justice and Human Services, but through the University of Cincinnati as a whole. HEMI is grateful for Dr. Johnson’s commitment to our program.

Thank you for helping HEMI celebrate this year’s award recipients! Your support and commitment to the Higher Education Mentoring Initiative ensures its ongoing success.

Help HEMI raise more funds for our 2020 Scholars Dinner & Scholarships. You can donate to our scholarships on the HEMI Hub homepage.

We Gratefully Acknowledge Support
Ron and Phyllis McSwain
AT&T Inc., Mark Romito
Carol Ann and Ralph V. Haile, Jr. / U.S. Bank Foundation,
Chris Bochenek
United Way of Greater Cincinnati
Mary and Kent Friel
Michael and Kara Graham
And special thanks to the many Friends of HEMI
who have contributed over the years. We could not do this
important work without you!

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