TRiO Talent Search

Talent Search is an educational outreach program funded by the U.S. Department of Education. It is designed to motivate and support students in grades 6 through 12 who have the potential to succeed in higher education. The program provides academic, career, and financial counseling to its participants and encourages them to graduate from high school and continue on to and complete their postsecondary education.

Talent Search offers the following services at no cost to qualified students who attend:

  • Bloom High School
  • Bloom Trail High School
  • Cottage Grove Middle School
  • Rickover Junior High School
  • Washington Junior High School


  • Academic advising
  • ACT test preparation
  • Connection to high quality tutoring
  • Study skills workshops

College Information and Assistance

  • Assistance in selecting, applying to, and enrolling in educational programs after high school
  • College field trips
  • College prep workshops
  • High School/GED completion
  • Information on specific colleges, universities, and other schools
  • Orientation to college life

Financial Aid Information and Assistance

  • Individual assistance and information in preparing applications for grants, scholarships, college work programs, and student loans
  • Workshops for parents and students

Career Advising

  • Career exploration and planning
  • Decision making skills workshops
  • Goal setting workshops
  • Information on specific careers
Lisa Pickens
Director, Educational Talent Search
(708) 709-7917

Marla Johnson
Academic Advisor
(708) 709-7940

Whitney Waller
Academic Advisor


Students must:

  • Be U.S. citizens or permanent residents
  • Be between the ages of 11-27
  • Attend a designated school within the district: Bloom Trail High School, Cottage Grove Middle School, and Washington Junior High School
  • Demonstrate financial need by providing one of the following (document must show amount):
    • Signed copy of IRS form 1040, 1040A, 1040EZ tax return or Telefile
    • Proof of non-taxable income (i.e. Social Security Benefits, Public Aid, Disability Benefits, etc)
    • Signed 4560T (included in the downloadable application)
  • Be first generation college bound students (Neither their parents nor legal guardians have obtained a four-year degree.)
Students that have dropped out of grades 6-12 but have the ability to complete post-secondary education are eligible.
To enroll in the program, work with your parents or guardians in filling out the ETS application. Print and return the completed application and all additional required documents to your school counselor or one of the PSC Talent Search staff members.

If you have any other questions or need more information, please contact Lisa Pickens at (708) 709-7917 or .