Mentor Resources

HEMI Mentors support foster youth and foster care alumni every day in small and big ways: Mentors help young people expand career interests and encourage steps to achieve their goals. Mentors help with education goals and support higher education goals. Mentors help youth believe they can create a future they want. Mentors help reduce school absences and increase college participation. Mentors increase foster youth’s self-worth. Mentors

The Need

Foster youth often face challenging life circumstances and for many, education is not a priority, especially when they need to support themselves at 18-19 years old. Ohio statistics(1) for foster youth outcomes at age 19 are not encouraging:

  • 53% had not completed high school/GED
  • 36% had been incarcerated
  • 26% experienced homelessness within the last two years
  • 24% worked part-time; 12% worked full-time
  • 14% had a child
  • Nationally, more than 80% of youth in foster care express a desire to attend college, but less than 3% earn a bachelor’s degree(2) .
  • 1 National Youth in Transition Database, Ohio
  • 2 Research Highlights on Education and Foster Care, January 2014.

Learn more about HEMI’s impact via media outlets:


Mentor Training

HEMI recruits community volunteers to become mentors to local foster youth to provide them a long-term adult supporter.

HEMI provides training opportunities to learn about Trauma-informed Care and Developmental Assets.

2020 DAP Dates:

January 29th

HEMI has over 300 youth and about 130 mentors. We need your referrals for new mentors.

NEW for Mentors:

If you are an existing mentor, please visit our resources and tools from La Shanda Sugg, LPC to help you and your mentee grow.

Get Involved

If you cannot commit to being a mentor, there are other ways to volunteer and support HEMI’s mission:

  • Become a tutor
  • Serve on a Committee
  • Host an information session
  • Sponsor and/or volunteer at an event
  • Recruit mentors
  • Present a workshop
  • Host a HEMI hangout activity

HEMI Heart to Heart Newsletter

Each month, Mentors receive a special newsletter highlighting ways to strengthen their relationship with their mentee.

Visit the newsletter archive.



HEMI Honors Rayma Waters:

HEMI Director, 2009-2019

Rayma Waters started the Higher Education Mentoring Initiative in 2009 in partnership with Hamilton County Job and Family Services, University of Cincinnati CECH, Hamilton County Board of Commissioners, and many other organizations. Rayma retired in August 2019 and HEMI acknowledges her for ten years of continuous impact and her tireless commitment to foster youth in Hamilton County. Click here to read Rayma’s farewell letter.

Thanks for visiting the HEMI HUB!

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