More Money for Program that Helps Local High School Students Get to College

Humboldt State University HSUPress release from Humboldt State University:

A Humboldt State University program that encourages low-income and first-generation students and students with disabilities to pursue higher education, is set to expand after earning a grant from the United States Department of Education.

Educational Talent Search TRiO, a Humboldt State University auxiliary program that has been promoting higher education in local high schools and middle schools for over 24 years, recently announced it has been awarded a $460,000 annual grant that is expected to renew for five years. The funding not only allows this early college access program to continue in Humboldt County, but expands Talent Search services into Del Norte County schools.

According to Talent Search and Student Academic Services Outreach Program Director Rose Francia, approximately 6,000 local students have received college access services through the program’s history. On average, 70 percent of graduating Talent Search students pursue higher education directly after high school. This program is essential in guiding students to take college prep coursework to qualify for four-year university admissions; in 2016, only 32 percent of graduates in Humboldt County and 17 percent of graduates in Del Norte County completed the necessary coursework.

Talent Search works with a host of schools, agencies, programs, and college departments to strengthen college access along the Northern California Coast, where high rates of poverty and exposure to childhood trauma impede students’ access to college. “It is these consistent on and off-campus partnerships that make the program successful,” Francia says.

The Talent Search Program’s College Access Academic Advisors provide students with academic support and guidance, scholarship and financial aid information, test preparation, college and career exploration, study skills tips, and additional tools for success. Being awarded the Talent Search grant allowed for five new advisors to be hired, three of whom are recent HSU graduates. They are busy establishing partnerships with school sites with the goal of strengthening the local school-to-college pipeline.

Students in grades 6 through 12 who apply and qualify for the program attend four workshops per year geared at their grade level, and also receive advising and tutoring services that become more personalized and intensive as they get older and prepare to transition into post-secondary education. These workshops will reach at least 971 students this year.

Financial aid is a core component of the program, helping students complete financial aid applications and build strong resumes for scholarship applications. Francia says the program shows kids that there is funding for everyone to go to college.

Additionally, the grant budgets for more integration with HSU, including the hiring of 10 current HSU students as College Access Tutors and the initiation of university day camps. The camps are designed to give students early exposure to the local university campus utilizing a STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and math) curriculum. Recent HSU grad and new Talent Search Advisor Jorge Ambriz worked as a camp counselor at this summer’s pilot robotics camp, empowering the kids to find answers for themselves as he guided them through the material.

“There’s tremendous enthusiasm, especially when younger students hear from older students and graduates who are doing work they enjoy,” says Francia.

The program encourages students to plan ahead, stay motivated, and look at all of their options, including universities, community colleges, and trade schools, and has seen students start college at Humboldt State University and College of the Redwoods, or head off to Stanford, UC Berkeley, UC Davis, UC Santa Cruz, Oregon State, and many other programs. In the end, it’s about providing program participants with a pathway to higher education and rewarding careers.

“It’s all about supporting youth in developing a passion for work they love, providing service that the world needs, and that earns a living,” Francia says.

For more information, contact HSU News & Information at 826-3390.


  • That’s wonderful news!!

    • Henchman Of Justice

      Not so wonderful when the numbers don’t and won’t add up.

      Ok, time to tax marijuana growers more in order to pay for such dope smoke and mirror math figures.

      Hell, we got meth and heroin up for grabs, why not education for the recovering addicts, disabled and discouraged, now and beyond as medical health issues that prevent college opportunities…….

      Proponents of these grant types tend to “take the easy way out” as opposed to fighting for drastically lowered education costs and the redacting of institutional bylaws and requirements that are still “profiling in nature” in order to cull out applicants the institution WON’T ACCEPT.

      Encouragement – an empty bag of nothing tangible

  • Henchman Of Justice

    This is a jobs grant “disguised”.

    Grant is “to encourage” as opposed to effective results.

    24 years = 6000 serviced ( How many Graduates?)

    1 year = 248 +/- serviced avg. (70% of the grads – move on to college… again, how many total number of grads?)

    ~ [On average, 70 percent of graduating Talent Search students pursue higher education directly after high school.]

    971 students this year (4 workshops/tutoring) = 400% increase above 24 year annual average.

    So again, how many serviced actually graduated?

    10 created job positions that pay college students though, how ironic.

    More wasted tax dollars and a grant description where the math won’t and can’t add up. Tax Dollar appropriations fraud by the top down, bottoms up politicians and unsanctid institutional shills.

    Remember the charter school versus “ACLU” equal opportunity allegations? Well, this is reverse discrimination that offers unequal opportunity if the tax dollars are not allocated to all economic levels of students, all types of discouraging life scenarios that prevent a college recruitment opportunity for all walks of life. Back aches keep ya from college, what about depression caused by government intrusions, or you got fired from work, or no work exists, or you just want to go to college and, like most people, get engaged.

    What has HSU provided back to the community “as taxed” to pay for infrastructure destroyed by its students? Nothing, HSU just uses local taxpayers tax dollars to pay for its campus causing societal costs.

    System Of A Down

  • I think you need a vacation.

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