TRIO - Talent Search

Helping students navigate the path towards high school graduation & college enrollment

Iowa Lakes Community College TRIO Talent Search Program is a free college access program sponsored by Iowa Lakes Community College.

We provide support and guidance to students to ensure success in high school as well as post-secondary education enrollment and graduation.

Talent Search is a federally funded TRIO program grant funded by the United States Department of Education in the amount of $451,596 for 2020-21 academic year. TRIO Talent Search serves 778 eligible 6th -12th grade students.

The purpose of the program is to help low-income and potential first generation college students in middle and high school to reach their educational goals and to pursue post-secondary enrollment and graduation.

Our focus is to encourage and assist students to reach their academic and personal goals in school and enroll in a post secondary school after graduation.

Who Can Join TRiO Talent Search?

TRIO TALENT SEARCH is funded to serve first generation and income eligible students who have the potential to succeed in higher education.

Students qualify for the program if neither parent has graduated from a four-year college or university or by meeting federal income guidelines. 


Iowa Lakes Community College TRIO Talent Search currently provides services to the following schools within the Iowa Lakes District.

Algona Public Schools


Emmetsburg Public Schools

Emmetsburg Catholic School

Estherville-Lincoln-Central Schools

Graettinger-Terril Schools

North Union Schools

Okoboji Schools

Ruthven-Ayrshire Schools

Spencer Schools

Spirit Lake High School

West Bend-Mallard Schools


The Iowa Lakes Community College TRIO Talent Search Program offers many different opportunities, all focused on the student's success in middle school and high school. TRIO Talent Search also assists with successful transitioning into post-secondary programs. All services are free.


TRIO Talent Search advisors will visit with each student in their respective schools once a month during the school year. Staff will offer information on: careers, financial aid, applying to college, college entrance exams, financial literacy, study skills, test taking skills, time management, self-esteem, and more. Staff will also share information about upcoming campus visits, workshops, and activities designed to expose the students to many opportunities beyond their current environment. 


All students are welcome to participate in various college visits, enrichment activities and workshops. These activities are advertised in our newsletters which are mailed to students bi-monthly and may be found on our Facebook page. In addition, newsletters also provide information about financial aid, study tips, the college process and more. 


Academic assistance is offered in various locations and online to help participants with homework and achieving their academic goals. Please click on the “Academic Help” tab for more information and locations. 


This fun filled one day event is held during the summer for new middle school students who have been accepted into the TRIO Talent Search Program. Students will spend the day at an Okoboji Camp and take part in team building activities.


This four day, three night camp is jam packed with fun, educational and social activities and offered to upcoming seventh and eighth graders every June. The camp is held on the Iowa Lakes Community College campus, with off campus adventures planned. Students come from all over to meet new friends and reconnect with old.

Meet our Staff
Trudy Ahrens
Trudy Ahrens
TRiO Director
712-852-5302 Ext: 5302 | tahrens@iowalakes.educreate new email
Emmetsburg Campus
Kim Campbell
Kim Campbell
Talent Search Advisor
712-852-5339 Ext: 5339 | kcampbell@iowalakes.educreate new email
Emmetsburg Campus
William Huberty
William Huberty
Talent Search Advisor
712-852-5354 Ext: 5354 | whuberty@iowalakes.educreate new email
Emmetsburg Campus
Monica Rosacker
Monica Rosacker
TRIO-SSS Project Assistant
712-852-5301 Ext: 5301 | mrosacker@iowalakes.educreate new email
Emmetsburg Campus
Jasmine Williams
Jasmine Williams
Educational Talent Search Advisor
712-362-7951 Ext: 7951 | jaswilliams@iowalakes.educreate new email
Estherville Campus




  • March 27: Digital Electronics 1-3 p.m.
  • April 6: Student Leadership Virtual Speaker Josh Copeland
  • April 17: Paradigm Shift Virtual Team Building Event
  • June 13-18: Houston Trip
  • July 26-30: Chicago Trip


  • March 27: Digital Electronics 10 a.m. - 12 p.m.
  • April 6: Student Leadership Virtual Speaker
  • April 17: Paradigm Shift Virtual Team Building Event
  • June 7-10: STEM Camp "Your Body: A Machine"

Learn more and sign up


TRIO Talent Search offers academic assistance and tutoring to help Talent Search participants with homework and achieving their academic goals. We offer both in-person and online tutoring support.


TRIO Talent search is currently offering in-person tutoring sessions in Algona, IA and Spencer, IA.

Algona In-Person Tutoring
Algona Middle School
Tuesdays and Thursdays, 3:30-4:30

Need more information? 

Bill Huberty
Talent Search Advisor
whuberty@iowalakes.educreate new email


Student Lingo
Student Lingo is a series of interactive on-demand workshops, action plans, and valuable resources focused on helping students achieve their academic, personal and career goals. You can now take advantage of some great FREE online workshops!

opens in a new windowYou can access StudentLingo at:

You will create your own log in. Please use your school email.
All Talent Search students now have FREE  opens in a new windowaccess to a live tutor 24/7 via

opens in a new windowAccess at

Login using the following information:

Username: firstname.lastname

Password: ilcctalentsearch

How Will I Fund College?

Funding your future education may be a concern of you and your family.  We suggest starting early and gathering as much information as possible to prepare for this exciting step. 

  • Scholarships: Scholarships are merit-based awards distributed to students who meet the qualifications established by each individual program. Scholarships do not need to be repaid. Iowa Lakes offers three (3) $500 scholarships each year to Talent Search participants attending Iowa Lakes. 
  • Grants: Grants are need-based awards available to students who meet the specific requirements of each grant program. Grant awards do not need to be repaid.
  • Loans: Loans are need-based financial assistance that must be repaid, in most cases starting after you have graduated or left college. Lending institutions such as banks, savings banks, credit unions, and the federal government make the loans. 

Check out these links for more information:

Individual colleges offer their own scholarships, check out the college websites.

Scholarships are available to TRIO Talent Search students and participants in other TRIO programs. Learn more about those scholarships from your advisor and at:

TRIO Talent Search students receive preference for certain scholarships offered through the State of Iowa such as the All Iowa Opportunity Scholarship. Find out more information at 

Many organizations and companies offer their own scholarships. The list is never ending, but here are areas to think about:

  • Local Community Organizations or Clubs
  • High School Clubs (athletics, memorials, local and state level clubs)
  • Churches or Scouting programs (local and national)
  • Local Businesses
  • Large National Businesses (vehicle manufacturers, computer companies, large department stores, large grocery chains, bottling companies, gas companies, restaurant chains, banks, credit companies)
  • Banks and Credit Companies
  • Media/Communication Companies (magazine, newspaper, radio, television, internet and phone companies)
  • Charitable Organizations (local and national)
  • Special Needs Foundations
  • Places of employment of students or parents/grandparents of students.
How to Successfully Prepare for College

Check out these helpful links on the college process. 

Information on preparing and choosing a college:  or