TRIO Talent Search

TRIO students participate in a scavenger hunt Wednesday.

HANCEVILLE — Several local students got the chance to learn more about college readiness and learn some tips for success during Wallace State Community College’s TRIO College Camp Wednesday.

The camp, which was hosted by Wallace State’s TRIO Talent Search program, featured a day full of activities that were meant to give students a leg up on the college admissions process, said Talent Search Director Kristi Nyquist.

The day started with a visit from Wallace State Job Placement Coordinator Jamie Blackmon, who gave advice on building résumés and dressing for success, and the students also worked in teams on a scavenger hunt that took them around the school’s campus.

Other activities included tours and demonstrations from a few of the school’s departments, such as the forensics and EMS programs.

While the event was meant for college readiness, the day also allowed the students to get some experience being on a college campus and students played a few games to help introduce them to some of the other members of the program who are going through the same process, Nyquist said. 

“It’s been great,” she said. “They really, really liked it.”

Wallace State’s Talent Search serves 15 schools across four counties, including every Cullman County high school, and is primarily meant for low-income or first-generation potential college attendees, Nyquist said.

“Our goal is to get students enrolled in college,” she said. 

Along with summer events like the College Prep Camp and a four-week ACT prep course that is wrapping up this week, advisors from Talent Search visit each school throughout the year to meet with the program’s participants and prepare them for the college admissions process with activities like academic advising and tutoring, getting more information about colleges and financial aid and scholarship assistance.

Nyquist said Talent Search has hosted several different types of events over the last few summers, but the reaction to Wednesday’s event means the College Prep Camp is likely returning next year.

“This has been the best response, so I think we will try this again,” she said. 

For more information about TRIO Talent Search, visit

Tyler Hanes can be reached at 256-734-2131 ext. 138.

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