Ouachita Baptist University’s TRIO Educational Talent Search hosted more than 360 students and teachers Sept. 24 on Ouachita’s campus.
“It was a great day and very well received by the students,” said Suzanne Burgess, assistant director of OBU’s Educational Talent Search.
Dr. Stan Poole, OBU’s vice president for academic affairs, and Brenda Philson, director for OBU’s TRIO program and Educational Talent Search, welcomed guests to an opening session in Jones Performing Arts Center that featured a “fantastic” performance by the OBU drum line, according to Burgess. Members of the drum line also spoke to the group, sharing their Ouachita experiences.
The keynote speaker was Trey Talley, motivational speaker, body builder and author of “Teenage Construction Zone.” A leader of evangelistic organization Team Impact, he grew up in nearby Gurdon, Ark., and currently lives in the Dallas area.
“Trey really encouraged them to make good choices to attain their goals,” Burgess said.
Talent Search gave away Talent Search t-shirts as well as signed copies of Talley’s book as door prizes. An iPod Shuffle was also given as an incentive to promote attendance at future tutoring sessions, which begin in October and run through April. Students with good attendance at tutoring sessions throughout the year will have the opportunity to enter drawings for additional iPod Shuffles at the end of the school year.
After the morning session, visitors were invited to eat lunch in the Ouachita Commons, which is “always a hit with students,” Burgess said.
After lunch, the students met with their mentors for the first time in Sturgis Physical Education Center. The Ouachita students who serve as mentors performed skits and conducted group activities that laid the foundation for their ongoing relationships. The mentors and Talent Search students will continue to meet on a monthly basis.
Talent Search Day was “very successful,” said Burgess, “and we’re looking forward to having the students back on campus for Tiger Tunes on Oct. 21.”
Talent Search is a federally funded TRIO program designed to identify promising students within certain economic backgrounds and help them take the necessary steps to pursue postsecondary education.
For more information, contact Suzanne Burgess at firstname.lastname@example.org or (870) 245-4162.
By Brooke Zimny