Weatherford College Talent Search celebrated National TRIO Day in February with several activities including appreciation receptions at Weatherford and Mineral Wells high schools.
Talent Search is part of the TRIO programs created in 1964 to fight poverty through education by President Lyndon B. Johnson.
Talent Search has been on the Weatherford College campus since 2001 and serves 600 students in grades 6 through 12 from 16 area schools, those who didn’t complete high school, and high school graduates who have not completed college.
“Talent Search provided me a stairway to get into college, they gave me all the resources and support I needed,” said WC sophomore Esmeralda Manzano. “Without their guidance, I would be completely lost.”
WC Talent Search alumnus Jill Johnson calls the program the “Google” of college. “Ask them any question, and they will help answer it,” she said. Johnson is now a sophomore at Tarleton State University.
Talent Search specifically targets students who are both economically disadvantaged and who are potential first generation college students.
“Talent Search helps students navigate the pathway to higher education and advocates for students,” said Dr. Deborah Jogie-Cregger, Director of WC’s Talent Search program. “It is a guiding light for many students who desire to attend college but do not have the knowledge and skills needed to complete the college enrollment steps. Most of all Talent Search positively impacts students and families and changes their lives forever.”
Maddie Hall, a freshman at Austin College, said joining Talent Search her freshman year of high school was one of the best decisions she’s ever made.
“Talent Search did more than I could have ever expected when preparing for college,” Hall said. “The application process is long and overwhelming, but Talent Search was there to help me throughout the entire process. I am grateful for Mrs. Sammie and all of the Talent Search staff for all their help.”
Photo: Jodi McMurtrey from Weatherford High School and Sammie Calixtro, WC Talent Search Education Specialist, at one of the TRIO celebration events.