TRIO Educational Talent Search Program Honored By St. Louis Public Schools
St. Louis Public Schools recently recognized Saint Louis University’s TRIO Educational Talent Search program with two awards for the group's work.
SLU TRIO Educational Talent Search was named the Higher Ed Partner of the Year for Overground Railroad, Tutoring, College Readiness, TRIO program, SLU Mentors, and SLU Make a Difference Day.
Academic Coordinator Marlene Wu was also recognized with a Volunteer Award for her “valuable contributions” to St. Louis Public Schools.
“This award is a great recognition of the support the SLU TRIO Educational Talent Search program provides for SLPS schools,” Wu said. “TRIO ETS works with students in SLPS schools to encourage them to complete high school and prepare them for college. The SLPS schools we work with every day are the people that nominated and selected us for this award, which makes it even more impactful. It means so much to know that our schools recognize and appreciate the work we do with their students and value the relationship we have developed between SLPS and SLU.”
The federal TRIO programs are educational opportunity programs that motivate and serve low-income, first-generation college students and students with disabilities as they progress through the academic pipeline from middle school to graduate school. One of SLU’s TRIO programs is Talent Search.
Talent Search serves 501 grade 6 through 12 students in the Saint Louis City Public Schools. In addition to counseling, participants receive information about college admissions requirements, scholarships and financial aid programs. This early intervention program helps young people from families of modest means to better prepare for higher education.
“It just shows that the TRIO programs are making a difference with SLPS,” Educational Advisor Mia Davis said. “We never thought that we would be nominated for something like this, so it just shows that they appreciate our partnership and that we are making a difference with the scholars and within the schools. They really appreciate the work that we do.”
The Talent Search team assists the students in many ways, including tutoring, mentoring, guidance, and exposure to college life. The team works with Roosevelt High School, Sumner High School, Vashon High School, Long International Middle School, Pamoja Preparatory Academy at Cole, and Yeatman-Liddell Preparatory Middle School.
“This award is just one example of the many ways SLU gives back to the St. Louis community,” Wu said. “ It is a recognition of the work SLU does to improve the whole community and a core part of our service-focused Jesuit mission to maintain and improve the quality of life for all people.”
Wu said she was honored to receive her award. She thanked Dr. Benicia Nanez-Hunt, Principal of Long International Middle School, and Lequita Pang, Long’s Family and Community Engagement Specialist, for nominating her for the award.
Both Wu and Davis said their team leader, Program Director Karen Askew, also deserves credit for the program’s success.
“Our director, Karen Askew, she plays such a big part in everything we do,” Davis said. “... She still pushes into schools to help and really goes over and beyond.”
“She has provided endless support professionally as well as personally for us to do our very best to serve our SLPS schools,” Wu said about Askew.