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WC Talent Search receives $1.4 million grant

The Talent Search program at Weatherford College has received federal grant funding in the amount of $1.4 million for the next five-year grant cycle. This is an increase of $270,800 from the previous grant and will sustain the program through 2022.

The grant writing process was spearheaded by Kay Landrum, Executive Director of Student Outreach Programs and Students Success.

“The competition was very stiff this grant cycle,” Landrum said.

A total of 880 eligible Talent Search applications were submitted from across the nation, and Weatherford College was one of the 459 programs funded. WC Talent Search received a high score on its application for submitting a superior grant and for meeting its objectives for previous grant years.

“Talent Search is a federally-funded TRIO program designed to provide disadvantaged students with the motivation, guidance and assistance they need in order to complete high school and enroll in post-secondary educational institutions of their choice,” explained Deborah Cregger, WC Talent Search Director.

Weatherford College has operated Talent Search since 2001 and serves 592 students from 16 area schools encompassing seven school districts in Parker, Palo Pinto, Wise and Jack counties. The program targets low income and potential first generation college students and provides them with academic, career and financial services needed to navigate the college admission process.

“Talent Search is adding two major service components with the help of this grant,” Cregger said. “It will provide more intensive web-based tutoring for the students, and it will also provide seniors with more intentional mentoring during the summer to ensure that they stay on track for college enrollment.”

Additionally, the program will focus on helping students better prepare for the SAT, ACT and TSI tests by hosting informational workshops for both parents and students and by providing students with practice material for the tests.

Talent Search will continue to provide each target school with at least one field trip opportunity which includes a college campus tour and other cultural and educational trips.

“Field trips are known to be highly impactful in motivating students to want to complete high school and attend post-secondary educational institutions,” Cregger said. “Overall, Talent Search aims to meaningfully serve and engage all 592 recruited participants and to ensure that at least 65 percent of the seniors served enroll in post-secondary educational institutions.”

Photo: Deborah Cregger, Soozy Stone, Dr. Kevin Eaton, Kay Landrum, Stacy Rhodes and Sammie Calixtro.