Educational Talent Search Is Looking For You

Fabiola Vazquez, Writer

You definitely do not want to miss this opportunity: a program you won’t find anywhere else.
Educational Talent Search (ETS) is a free pre-college program designed to support students in succeeding in junior high and high school, as well as achieving their goals for pursuing higher education at a vocational school, community college or four-year university.
ETS offers several workshops and academic counseling that include the most important pre-college topics, including preparing for the SAT and ACT, completing A-G course requirements for college, choosing a major, exploring careers, understanding the college systems, completing college applications, applying for financial aid including FAFSA and applying for scholarships.
Antoinette Gonzalez, who is the mentor that gives the workshops at Nipomo High School, thinks that students that are in ETS “find a motivation to continue their studies after high school.” She said that when she was in high school, she was part of the program and that it really helped her a lot to understand how college looked like and how did it work.
Joining ETS was a great experience for her because of the community and because of all the opportunities that it gave her. “It became a close family and community, where I met students from other high schools” she said. Gonzalez also said that she still keeps in contact with the students she met during ETS. “Most of them attended and graduated from a 4 year institution, they are back in Santa Maria working and others stayed in bigger cities and have amazing jobs.”
Senior Patricia Bernal thinks you should join ETS because “They help you find the resources for college and they offer fun field trips.” Edith Bernal, who is also a member of this program said, “it is a nice place to have extra help regarding college, besides you can meet a lot of people,” she said.
ETS is currently looking for students who seek for free pre-college supplementary guidance and support. It has been designed for students who feel more independent and responsible for their academic performance.
The program runs monthly workshops in the following schools: Fesler Junior High School, Kermit McKenzie Junior High School, Mesa Middle School, Ernest Righetti High School, Nipomo High School, Pioneer Valley High School, and Santa Maria High School.
Educational Talent Search will give you a lot of new experiences, from meeting a lot of people from other schools and making new friends to exploring what you want to do and what career options can you have according to your abilities. You should join because it is a fun, healthy environment that prepares you for college, that offers important tools and that gives you a free opportunity to explore your desires, dreams and ways to achieve them.
Moreover, ETS offers you free opportunities to visit colleges throughout California. Every year, the program organizes several field trips to CSUs, UCs, private institutions, and community colleges so you can learn about different college options. Regarding this, Gonzalez said “ETS helped me feel inspired, especially when I had the opportunity to attend the field trips. It was super helpful to envision myself on campus.”
What do you need to join? Who is eligible? The requisites for joining Educational Talent Search include:
Being a U.S citizen, have legal permanent residency, or being in the process of applying for legal permanent residency
Attend one of the target schools
Have completed the 5th grade or be at least 11 years old
Commit to continuing your studies beyond high school
Commit to attending program workshops and events
If you are interested in applying, you can send an email to [email protected], fill the application online attend to one of the monthly meetings, which are announced in the daily bulletin.
It is also important to mention that Educational Talent Search is part of the TRIO programs, which consist of federal outreach and student services programs designed to identify and provide services for individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds. TRIO programs assist first-generation college students and low-income individuals and support them by giving them tools for being successful and become more confident about their potential.
Gonzalez suggests students to join ETS because she understands how hard is to pass through college application processes. “I remember having to check in with my advisor or friends in order to understand my financial aid package, ask questions on how to register for classes, or how to be a competitive student while applying to the university. We are a supplemental resource, we can be mentors and an extra listening ear. We want all students to take advantage of the resources available on their school campus,” she said.