Going the Extra Mile in MentoringFoster Youth to Support EducationalSuccessAnnie Schellinger, HEMI Program CoordinatorAlyssa Purvis, HEMI Program SpecialistSarah Mangan, HCJFS Educational LiaisonMariah Maxwell, HEMI student
HEMI MissionThe Higher Education Mentoring Initiative(HEMI) provides Hamilton County youth a long-term mentoring relationship that begins in highschool and is focused on awareness of, andpreparation for, post-secondary education andtraining.
HEMI Defined• The HEMI Program recruits, trains, andsupports mentors to establish positive, long-term relationships with foster care youth.• HEMI mentors assist, encourage, and supportstudent academic achievement through highschool and help create a direct pathway tohigher education.
HEMI By The Numbers• 100% high school graduation rate• 83% enroll in post-secondary education• Serving 60 mentors & 60 mentees• Projected to add a new cohort of 15 studentsand 15 mentors each year
Best Practices of Mentoring FosterYouth• Studies indicate that the followingcomponents are effective practices ofmentoring programs 1:– Duration– Consistency– Emotional connection– Program support for mentoring relationships1 Spencer, R., Collins, M.E., Ward, R., Smashnaya, S. (2010). Mentoring for Young People Leaving Foster Care:Promise and Potential Pitfalls. Social Work, 55 (3), 225-234.
Brainstorm Together:Identify Barriers for Foster YouthPursuing Higher Education
Barriers for Foster Youth PursuingEducation• Foster youth often face challenging life circumstances whilebeing moved in and out of homes during their lives.• For many foster youth, pursuing their education beyondhigh school is often difficult to achieve due to many factors:• Housing• Financial• Medical• Educational• Lack of Family Support• Struggles to AchieveBasic Survival• EducationalAwareness• Lack of Preparation• Parenting• Mental Health• Transportation• EmancipationTransition
Innovative Practices for AddressingBarriers• Parenting Support Group• Action Groups– Housing Assistance Program– Jobs Readiness Event• Scholarships– Celebration Dinner• HEMI Graduate Hall of Fame• Youth Retreat• Quarterly Events• Mentor Trainings tailored to mentor needs• Media Presence to increase program visibility• Partnerships• Use of MSW student interns and work-study students• Creation of HEMI Documentary• Database
HEMI Documentary:Perspectives from Mentors and Mentees
Discussion Questions:• Are there some innovative practices that youcan enact in your current position to helpfoster youth overcome barriers as theypursue higher education?• What do you think is the most difficultbarrier for foster youth pursuing highereducation to overcome?• What is the most important factor in apositive, successful mentoring relationship?