TRIO Talent Search is a program designed to identify promising students within certain economic backgrounds and help them take the necessary steps to pursue postsecondary education. These students are invited to tour universities and ask any questions that they may have. Ouachita Baptist University will be hosting an Educational Talent Search Day on Sept. 24 at 9:30 a.m. in Jones Performing Arts Center.
Educational Talent Search is federally-funded as part of the TRIO program and targets sixth through 12th grade in the surrounding area.
“We serve high school students who are either low income or potential first-generation college students,” said Suzanne Burgess, assistant director of OBU’s Educational Talent Search. “TRIO exists to encourage, help and enable students to make good choices so that they can go to college.”
On Talent Search Day, students will begin with a welcome session in JPAC with Ouachita’s drum line and then have the opportunity to eat lunch in the Ouachita Commons. Trey Tally, motivational speaker, body builder and author of “Teenage Construction Zone,” also will be speaking to the students.
“He will speak to the students about building a foundation for a good education” Burgess said.
Members of the drum line will also speak to the students about how they received scholarships and why they chose to come to OBU.
“They give it a personal touch,” Burgess said. “Our students always look up to college students.”
Dr. Ryan Lewis, assistant professor of percussion, has chosen Cory Epps, a junior church music major from Wynne, Ark., and Alex Lomax, a sophomore biology major from Little Rock, Ark., to speak at this year’s event.
“The atmosphere becomes electric as students there dance, sing, shout and thoroughly enjoy the event,” Lewis said.
Ouachita students serve as mentors to program participants. The mentors will meet with the students for the first time this year on Educational Talent Search Day and will continue meeting with them on a monthly basis. They will meet in OBU’s Sturgis Physical Education Center after lunch.
Participating Talent Search students come from eight different school districts from the southwest region of the state. Students must apply to participate in the Talent Search program, and about 70 percent of those admitted must be both below a certain income level and potential first-generation college students. The other 30 percent must exhibit some other need.
OBU’s Talent Search also will partner with OBU’s Upward Bound on Oct. 2 to host TRIO Family Day. This event provides an opportunity for families to come with their students and receive information about their child’s future education opportunities.
For more information about either event, please contact Brenda Philson at firstname.lastname@example.org or (870) 245-5158.
By Korrie Browning