Higher Education Mentoring
313 N. Birch Street
Higher Education Mentoring (HEM) is a College Readiness program of the Orange County Bar Foundation. Developed in 2002, as a single gender curriculum to motivate Latinas to graduate from high school, the two-year curriculum now targets both girls and boys attending Santa Ana High Schools, and prepares them for college life.
At a time when a college degree is becoming more important, higher costs have grown at a higher rate than inflation. The Higher Education Mentoring Program helps to reduce this barrier to education attainment for many students from lower income families. The programs are unique in matching Junior and Senior participants with a Latino university student or role model who is familiar with the culture, has overcome traditional barriers and knows first hand what it takes to succeed in an institution of higher learning.
Participants are provided with individual and group mentoring geared towards academic growth and development. The after school program works with approximately 40 students each year, providing needed skills through monthly workshops, guest speakers and local college campus tours, all designed to build upon one another. There are more than 69 university students that have completed the HEM program and are participating as Alumni of HEM. Many serve as Mentors or volunteer speakers giving their time to enhance the college experience of a younger Latino who shares his/her same goal of higher education. Each Mentor is screened and provided with training and guidance. The program has had tremendous success guiding young students to pursue their dreams of attending institutions of higher learning.