Since 1982 the Newton Municipal School District has been a part of the federally funded Educational Talent Search program. The program is set up to encourage secondary completion and post-secondary enrollment. It also focuses on individuals who would be the first in their family to obtain a four-year degree.
Program counselor Vanessa Davis says students can be a part of the program as early as the 6th grade and up until the 12th.
"This program provides opportunities for the students that college is a possibility for them."
The Educational Talent Search is assisting nearly 350 students from low-income families or dropouts to further their education. Not only does it prepare students for college by offering financial aid counseling, study skills and test taking strategies and goal setting, but it also allows the students to visit college campuses and even assists them in finding scholarships.
"One of the most important things about the program is that we track our participants," says Davis.
To be a part of the program students must be a U.S. citizen, have completed the fifth grade or at least be 11-years-old and not currently enrolled in a post secondary program.