Ouachita Baptist University’s TRIO Program will host an Educational Talent Search Day Dec. 9 in Jones Performing Arts Center from 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.
“Talent Search Day is an opportunity to visit a college campus and also gain information on the importance of planning and achieving educational and career goals,” said Reo Cummings, assistant director and education advisor for Talent Search. “It will show students the importance of completing a post-secondary program and choosing a career which offers stability.”
The Talent Search program identifies and assists individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds who have the potential to succeed in higher education. Talent Search also serves high school dropouts by encouraging them to reenter the educational system and complete their education, according to their website. The Talent Search Day is available for students, grades six through 12.
“Our theme this year for our program is Educational Talent Search: Sports Edition,” Cummings said. “On Talent Search Day, students will begin with a welcome session in JPAC with the Ouachita drum line and then have the opportunity to eat lunch in the Ouachita Commons. Afterwards, the students will see a live exhibition wrestling match by the Ouachita wrestling team.”
The speakers for Talent Search Day this year will be Wanda Harris, NCAA Division-I basketball referee; Dennis Nutt, OBU head men’s basketball coach; and Paul Vaughn, OBU head athletic trainer. They will discuss the various careers and opportunities that athletics can provide.
“Participating Talent Search students come from eight different school districts from the southwest region of the state,” Cummings said. “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.”
In addition to counseling, participants receive information about college admissions requirements, scholarships and various student financial aid programs. This early intervention program helps young people to better understand their educational opportunities and options, according to the website.
By Jordan Campbell