academic-successOther than their outstanding grades, what do the valedictorians from Carl Junction, Carthage, Riverton, Sarcoxie and Webb City all have in common?

All five completed the Educational Talent Search (ETS)  program at Missouri Southern State University.

The goal of Talent Search, a federally-funded TRIO program, is to increase the number of qualified youth who complete high school and enroll in and complete their postsecondary education. The program provides academic, career, and financial counseling to its participants.

The valedictorians include:

• Haley Reynolds – Carl Junction High School
• Zeb Reed – Carthage High School
• Molly McDonald – Riverton High School
• Destinee Greathouse – Sarcoxie High School • Matt Reynolds – Webb City High School

Jim Kimbrough, Educational Talent Search Director at MSSU, says all 100 high school seniors  involved in the program graduated from high school.

Preliminary numbers indicate that 32 of the graduates plan to attend Missouri Southern this fall and three will participate in the prestigious MSSU Honors program.

He adds that 18 plan to go to Crowder College, seven to Pittsburg State University, five to Missouri State University and three each to the University of Arkansas and the University of Missouri-Columbia.

The remainder are headed to 15 other colleges.

“We’re very proud of these young people,” Kimbrough said. “It’s rewarding to know that they have completed this phase of their education and know the value of going to college and getting a degree.”

The program publicizes the availability of financial aid and assist participants with the postsecondary application process. Talent Search also encourages persons who have not completed education programs at the secondary or postsecondary level to enter or reenter and complete postsecondary education. Talent Search students regularly participate in trips to museums, aquariums and university campuses.

The Talent Search staff at MSSU, in addition to Kimbrough, includes Outreach Specialists Katie Aranda and Jared Zamouski and Administrative Assistant Bethany Lansaw.

Additional information may be obtained at or!/MSSUTalentSearch?fref=ts