MCC TRIO TALENT SEARCH STUDENTS ATTEND 24TH ANNUAL NATIONAL STUDENT LEADERSHIP
CONGRESS IN WASHINGTON, D.C.
This year, the TRIO Talent Search program at Madisonville Community College (MCC)
sent two rising senior high school students to participate in the 24th Annual National
Student Leadership Congress (NSLC) held in Washington, D.C. on June 8-13. Matt Hayward
and Joe Reed from Muhlenberg County High School were among 150 Upward Bound, Upward
Bound Math-Science, and Talent Search students from 25 states, Puerto Rico, and Guam
who participated in the event. Hayward and Reed were recommended by their TRIO Talent
Search advisor, Corey Downey, as outstanding juniors that would be an asset to the
program as excellent students with the motivation to succeed in their current areas
of interest, aviation and agricultural engineering. They were the first participants
to attend from the TRIO Talent Search federally funded program for middle and high
school students at Madisonville Community College. This was a unique opportunity for
these TRIO Talent Search participants to interact with the wide variety of diverse
students with similar college and career goals.
One of the highlights of NSLC is the Mock Congress which is designed to extend the
values of democracy and citizen participation by engaging the students in activities
that address current issues of concern, increase their analytical skills to successfully
prioritize important issues and courses of action, and gain a better understanding
of the legislative process. In the Mock Congress, the students examine current issues
and discuss viewpoints for and against the issue. They must research, write, debate,
and develop bills of legislation. The steps of the process are similar to those in
Congress itself. Students examine the topic, select a subtopic for the subcommittee,
research and craft the bill in subcommittee, sponsor debate of the merits of the bill,
complete final mark up on the bill to be ready for full floor reading and voting,
and present the bill to the full Congress . It excited me for these students to
express their increased awareness of the U.S. Government policy and procedure process,
said Anna Leasure, Director of the TRIO Talent Search program at MCC. Some of the
bills introduced this year included violence in video games, whether privacy in social
media should be protected, the question of whether school cafeterias contribute to
the nation s obesity problem, and same sex marriage. The students really enjoyed the
research involved to enable them to argue both sides of the issue. To our area TRIO
Talent Search students credit, Matt Hayward s team won the debate.
During their week in Washington, Hayward and Reed resided at American University and
participated in an interactive workshop on conflict resolution, attended discussions
about college, visited the museums of the Smithsonian Institution, went on a historical
and cultural tour of Washington, DC, and attended a performance at the Kennedy Center.
The week concluded with a leadership banquet, Showtime at TRIO Talent Show, and dance.
Madisonville Community College TRIO Talent Search program serves middle and high school
students in Crittenden, Hopkins, and Muhlenberg counties. The Federal TRIO Programs
are federal outreach and student services programs designed to identify eligible students
not only for college enrollment but college graduation. Regular in-school group workshops,
individual and small group sessions, college campus tours, cultural exposure, and
coordination with in-school and summer academic enrichment opportunities are included
in the program services. An emphasis is placed on rigorous curriculum success to lay
the foundation for baccalaureate degree completion.
These programs are administered, funded, and implemented by the United States Department
of Education. For additional information concerning the TRIO programs at Madisonville
Community College, contact Anna Leasure, Director of MCC s TRIO Talent Search, at