A substantial $1.3 million grant has renewed Coahoma Community College's Talent Search program for an additional five years.

The federally-backed program took shape on the CCC campus in 2002. It serves 7th-12th grade students at Clarksdale High School, W.A. Higgins Middle School-Academy of Fine Arts, J.W. Stampley Ninth Grade Academy Coahoma County Junior and Senior High schools, and most recently adopted McEvans Junior and Senior High schools of Shaw, Mississippi.

Pleased with extended life of the program, CCC Talent Search Director Kimberly Bee commented, "I was thrilled to find out our TRIO Educational Talent Search proposal was renewed and funded for an additional five years. We are so very excited to have the opportunity to continue serving students in our public schools.

"Over the next five years, not only will we continue to prepare our students for postsecondary education, we will also implement a mentoring, tutoring, STEM element for the 500 students we serve," says Bee. "It's an exciting time to be part of the Talent Search program."

Coahoma's Talent Search program provides students with added layers of educational support, hosting college and cultural visits along with mentoring, STEM, and summer activities. Talent Search also offers guidance for high school/college re-entry and the college application process for admission and financial aid and arranges high-quality academic tutoring, financial literacy sessions, and career, personal and academic advising.

Furthermore, Talent Search staff, including coordinators Felisha Stevenson and Janice Snerling, are proud to report high success rates from the past year. One hundred percent of Talent Search students have persisted to the next grade. Likewise, 94 percent of its 12th graders graduated from high school, and 87 percent matriculated to postsecondary education.

The U.S. Department of Education-funded Talent Search program upholds an aim to bolster secondary and postsecondary completion in the demographic of individuals coming from disadvantaged backgrounds. While the program supports participants with career, academic, and financial counseling, it uncovers the availability of student financial assistance to participants with plans to pursue a college program.

For more information on the Talent Search Program, contact Kimberly Bee at 662-621-4136 or ksbee@coahomacc.edu.