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TRiO receives five-year, $1.2 million grant for Talent Search program

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TRiO staff at Colorado State University-Pueblo is on the prowl for talent after receiving a grant for $ 1.2 million grant from the Department of Education to finance its newly added Talent Search program.

Talent Search will be part of the university’s TRiO programs, and its aim is to encourage those from disadvantaged backgrounds to pursue higher education.

According to a CSU-Pueblo news release, the program will focus on assisting students from Central, East and South high schools, along with Risley International Academy of Innovation, Roncalli STEM Academy and Pueblo Academy of Arts.

Michael Manos, director of TRiO Programs, has worked in Pueblo for 18 years. He explained that career exploration is one of Talent Search’s primary initiatives.

“One of the things we want to do is expose students to a lot of different careers so they can make good informed decisions,” Manos explained. He stressed the importance of individuals in the program developing career goals, saying that it makes them willing to persevere when met with obstacles in college.

Additionally, the program will provide tutoring and information about financial aid and college life. A unique aspect of the program is that most of the sessions will take place during school hours so that students do not have to attend sessions after school or on the weekends.

Once admitted, students will also have the opportunity to participate in a variety of field trips, particularly to CSU-Pueblo, giving them a greater insight into college processes and departments as well showcasing the University as a viable option upon graduation.

Manos said a director would oversee the entire program, along with an academic coordinator and a program coordinator. Because the program will have approximately 500 students, he is searching for nine upperclassmen at CSU-Pueblo to serve as peer mentors for high school juniors and seniors. These paid positions are suitable for those who have a desire to meet community needs.

Manos said he is also looking for volunteers for various aspects of the program such as talking to members of the program about a particular major or assisting with activities.

Officially started on Sept. 1, the program is still in its beginning stages. Currently, accepting applications for middle school an d high school students.

Still, Manos appeared optimistic about the endeavor. “I think it will reflect well for the university to have something like this in the community, and I think it will be a good bridge between the Pueblo community and the university,” said Manos.

Manos also revealed in a news release that Talent Search would attempt to increase college graduation and retention rates through its efforts.

According to a press release, CSU-Pueblo’s Talent Search program will be one of five in the state. Colorado State University–Fort Collins, Fort Lewis College, the Greeley Dream Team, and the Denver Scholarship Fund also have the program.

For more information about the program, students are encouraged to contact the Talent Search Office at 719-549-2592 or by email at


Edited by: Theresa Wolf