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Talent Search program opens to middle school students

Talent Search program opens to middle school students

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Talent Search program opens to middle school students

Raven Smith (center), a Talent Search project advisor at Virginia Tech, will be the primary contact for Franklin County participants and their families. Smith is a Franklin County native and a former Virginia Tech Talent Search participant.

Students attending Benjamin Franklin Middle School can apply to Talent Search, a federally funded program that connects students with resources to help them go to college.

The free program, offered through Virginia Tech’s TRIO Programs, is geared toward students who are income-eligible or the first generation in their family to attend college. Throughout the year, students can learn from Talent Search advisors about career exploration, goal setting and improving study skills.

“Helping students find a career path that excites them is an amazing process to be a part of,” said Frances Clark, director of Virginia Tech TRIO Programs. “Through Talent Search, we can help students find and open the doors that will lead them to their goals.”

Once accepted into the program, students can participate in Talent Search throughout the duration of their time in middle school and into high school without reapplying, according to Austin Pryor, assistant director of Talent Search.

Virginia Tech’s Talent Search program currently serves about 680 students in 23 middle and high schools, including Franklin County High School, and sees more than 80% of its participants enroll in colleges and universities after high school graduation.

Raven Smith, a Talent Search project advisor at Virginia Tech, will be the primary contact for Franklin County participants and their families. Smith is a Franklin County native and a former Virginia Tech Talent Search participant.

“Being able to serve the community that I grew up in gives me such a sense of happiness and pride,” Smith said. “I began my TRIO journey at Benjamin Franklin Middle School and I am so excited that I get to be a resource to students here now. I am forever and always a Franklin County Eagle.”

More information about Talent Search, including how to apply, is available at trioprograms.vt.edu.

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