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Welcome to Talent Search!

Who We Are

CollegeMAKERS- Talent Search is a federally funded TRIO program. We work with over 500 low income, first-generation students, in grades 9-12 at Cairo High School. Our goal is to help students succeed during high school and to enroll in the college of their choice after graduation.

What CollegeMAKERS Do

  • Attend workshops, activities, individual meetings with CollegeMAKERS- Talent Search staff and college campus tours.
  • Take rigorous courses including dual enrollment in high school that will help prepare you for college entrance.
  • Complete the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid)
  • Enroll at the college of your choice IMMEDIATELY following high school graduation.

Students are asked to maintain at least a 2.5 cumulative GPA.

What We Do

  • Educational, career and financial aid counseling.
  • Teach students how to be successful in school (study skills, test taking skills, etc.).
  • Financial and economic literacy.
  • Tutoring
  • Provide ACT,SAT, and college application fee waivers to students who qualify.
  • Accuplacer registration & preparation.
  • ACT/SAT registration & preparation.
  • Explore post-secondary options.
  • Assistance with college entrance applications, scholarships & FAFSA.

Does it Cost?

No. Our grant covers the cost so anytime you participate it is completely free.

History of Trio

“The history of TRIO is progressive. It began with Upward Bound, which emerged out of the Economic Opportunity Act of 1964 in response to the administration's War on Poverty. In 1965, Talent Search, the second outreach program, was created as part of the Higher Education Act. In 1968, Student Support Services, which was originally known as Special Services for Disadvantaged Students, was authorized by the Higher Education Amendments and became the third in a series of educational opportunity programs. By the late 1960's, the term "TRIO" was coined to describe these federal programs.

Over the years, the TRIO Programs have been expanded and improved to provide a wider range of services and to reach more students who need assistance. The Higher Education Amendments of 1972 added the fourth program to the TRIO group by authorizing the Educational Opportunity Centers. The 1976 Education Amendments authorized the Training Program for Federal TRIO Programs, initially known as the Training Program for Special Programs Staff and Leadership Personnel. Amendments in 1986 added the sixth program, the Ronald E. McNair Postbaccalaureate Achievement Program. Additionally, in 1990, the Department created the Upward Bound Math/Science program to address the need for specific instruction in the fields of math and science. The Upward Bound Math/Science program is administered under the same regulations as the regular Upward Bound program, but it must be applied for separately. Finally, the Omnibus Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2001 amended the Student Support Services (SSS) program to permit the use of program funds for direct financial assistance (Grant Aid) for current SSS participants who are receiving Federal Pell Grants.

The legislative requirements for all Federal TRIO Programs can be found in the Higher Education Act of 1965, Title IV, Part A, Subpart 2”Our School

Cairo High School Homepage

How Do I Join?

Our program is serves over 500 students annually, of which two-thirds must meet these two eligibility requirements:

  • Verification of income below maximum allowed for applicants family.
  • Potential first generation college student (i.e. neither parent has graduated from a four year college.)

The remaining one-third do not need to meet the above eligibility requirements.

How can I Apply?

To apply to the Talent Search program contact the CollegeMAKERS- Talent Search staff at your school or download the following application and drop it off in the guidance office. Your guardian will need to sign the application before returning it to school.


Financial Aid

Fill out your FAFSA online

Need assistance? Here is a helpful video:

Upcoming Calendar

January 28 at 8:30 AM -12:00 PM February 11 (ACT)
February 25 at 8:30 AM- 12:00 PM March 11 (SAT)
April 22 at 8:30 AM- 12:00 PM May 6 (SAT)

Contact Us

Kelley Burns, Project Coordinator

Carol Willis, Director