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What is Talent Search?

Talent Search students

Are you interested in attending college, but confused by the process or concerned about paying for it? Talent Search is designed to provide a support system for students just like you!

Talent Search can help you to identify your career interests and sort through the colleges and programs that will best meet your needs. Program staff can also provide assistance with preparation for pre-college entrance examinations, college admission applications and financial aid paperwork.

If this sounds good to you, then you may be a good candidate for Talent Search, a federal TRIO program funded by the Department of Education and administered by Centralia College.

Talent Search program services

(Video by Lauren Perez, TRIO Alum)

What services do we offer?

Talent Search program services are provided through classroom presentations, workshops, group and one-on-one activities to ensure academic success:
  • Academic advise and assistance in secondary school and college course selection
  • Assistance in completing college admission and financial aid applications
  • Assistance in preparing for college entrance examinations
  • Guidance on secondary school reentry or entry to other programs leading to a secondary school diploma or its equivalent
  • Career advising/planning
  • Tutorial services
  • Exposure to college campuses as well as cultural events, academic programs, and other sites or activities not usually available to participants
  • Workshops and counseling for parents of students served
  • Mentoring programs
  • Activities designed to meet the specific educational needs of individuals in grades six through eight
Other programs we offer are:
  • Expanding Your Horizons Conference: 7-9th grade female students explore nontraditional math and science careers while parents attend college planning workshops
  • Life Management Conference: 9th grade students attend workshops with activities designed to develop life management skill
  • Rotary/TS Mentorship Day: 10-12th grade students explore careers of interest by spending time with an employer or business
  • Career Day: 10th grade students attend career workshops and speak to professionals in their fields of interest
  • Junior Tour: 11th grade students meet with Washington college representatives
  • Financial Aid and College Information Workshops: Information sessions regarding college financial aid, admissions and application procedures
  • Field Trips: 7-12th grades visit college campuses, attend cultural events, academic programs, and other sites or activities not usually available to participants
  • Math Workshops: Designed to assist participants and their parents with pre-algebra and algebra coursework
  • Summer Science Camp: A hands-on program designed to build science skills in a fun environment
And finally, by participating in TS, students are also eligible for membership-exclusive programs including Upward Bound summer academies in Alaska and Idaho, National Leadership Congress held in Washington D.C. and participation in various summer camps and activities (all of which are free to the student).

Talent Search target schools

Thirteen school districts in Lewis, Thurston, and Grays Harbor counties receive services from the Centralia College Talent Search Program. Communities where TS makes a difference. Visit them on the Web:

Talent Search staff

Liisa Preslan Liisa Preslan, Director
Contact Liisa Preslan
Cindy Broadbent Cindy Broadbent, Program Coordinator
Serves Chehalis, Morton, Mossyrock, Rochester, Tenino, Toledo, White Pass, and Winlock Middle Schools
Contact Cindy Broadbent
Kathleen Vodjansky-Ward Kathleen Vodjansky-Ward,
Assistant Director
Serves W.F. West High School
Contact Kathleen Vodjansky-Ward
Mike Bryant Mike Bryant, Program Coordinator
Serves Onalaska, Rochester, Tenino, and Toledo High Schools
Contact Mike Bryant
Mary Myhre Mary Myhre, Program Coordinator
Serves Morton, Mossyrock, Napavine, Pe Ell, White Pass, and Winlock High Schools
Contact Mary Myhre
Matt Bajo Matt Bajo, Program Specialist
Contact Matt Bajo
Charity DeSilva Charity DeSilva, Secretary Senior
Contact Charity DeSilva