As the Director of TRIO Talent Search at Wichita State University, it is an honor to connect low income and potential first generation college students with postsecondary educational opportunities. Our mission is firmly woven into the fabric of creating equity and excellence for students and their families as they seek to improve their futures. Whether that means being the conduit between students and financial aid, helping students and their parents understand postsecondary options, or working with individuals to return to school, the program is here to assist.
Our target schools are in USD 259. We serve three high schools (North, Southeast, and West) and six middle schools (Brooks Magnet, Curtis, Hamilton, Jardine Magnet, Mayberry Magnet, and Pleasant Valley). Talent Search counselors are either embedded or frequent the schools several times a week. Once there, the counselors partner with the school staff to determine the best course of action to ensure that students’ needs are met. For example, if a need exists for math tutoring, Talent Search will support that effort by placing a Wichita State student at that school.
The program also plans campus visits to two-year and four-year colleges and universities throughout the year. The campus visits are student oriented, giving students an up close and personal view of select institutions of higher education. These trips have made a tremendous impact on students and are often the factor that helps them decide that college is for them. In addition to campus visits, the program offers college admissions assistance, help in completing financial aid (e.g., FAFSA) and scholarship applications, ACT/SAT test preparation, after-school tutoring, mentoring activities, career and personal counseling, financial literacy workshops, and middle school summer enrichment.
All of us in TRIO Talent Search are excited and ready to assist students in reaching their college dreams.