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Talent Search

Talent Search students
(Video by Lauren Perez, TRIO Alum)
(Talent Search students)

What is Talent Search?

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 services

Talent Search program services are provided through classroom presentations, workshops, group and one-on-one activities to ensure academic success:
  • FREE Academic advise and assistance in secondary school and college course selection
  • FREE Assistance in completing college admission and financial aid applications
  • FREE Assistance in preparing for college entrance examinations
  • FREE Guidance on secondary school reentry or entry to other programs leading to a secondary school diploma or its equivalent
  • FREE Career advising/planning
  • FREE Tutorial services
  • FREE Exposure to college campuses as well as cultural events, academic programs, and other sites or activities not usually available to participants
  • FREE Workshops and counseling for parents of students served
  • FREE Mentoring programs
  • FREE 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
  • College Planning Day
  • 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
Talent Search 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 eligibility

Eleven school districts in Lewis, Thurston, and Grays Harbor counties receive services from the Centralia College Talent Search Program. To be eligible for Talent Search, you must attend one of the schools listed below:
Middle Schools:
  • Centralia Middle School
  • Chehalis Middle School
  • Mossyrock Middle School
  • Napavine Middlel School
  • Onalaska Middle School
  • Pe Ell Middle School
  • Rainier Middle School
  • Rochester Middle School
  • Tenino Middle School
  • Toledo Middle School
  • Winlock Middle School
High Schools:
  • Centralia High School
  • Mossyrock High School
  • Napavine High School
  • Onalaska High School
  • Pe Ell High School
  • Rainier High School
  • Rochester High School
  • Tenino High School
  • Toledo High School
  • W.F.West High School
  • Winlock High School

Talent Search staff

Liisa Taylor Liisa Preslan, Director
Contact Liisa Preslan
Cindy Broadbent Cindy Broadbent, Program Specialist
Serves Tenino and Rochester Middle and High Schools
Contact Cindy Broadbent
Kathleen Vodjansky-Ward Kathleen Vodjansky-Ward,
Assistant Director
Serves Chehalis Middle School and W.F. West High School
Contact Kathleen Vodjansky-Ward
Clarence Gundersen Clarence Gundersen, Program Specialist
Serves Centralia and Rainier Middle and High Schools
Contact Clarence Gundersen
Matt Bajo Matt Bajo, Program Specialist
Serves Onalaska, Mossyrock, and Toledo Middle and High Schools
Contact Matt Bajo
Elva Villanueva Elva Villanueva, Secretary Senior
Contact Elva Villanueva
Mayra Sanchez Mayra Sanchez, Program Specialist
Serves Napavine, Pe Ell, and Winlock Middle and High Schools
Contact Mayra Sanchez