Increasing the number of youth from disadvantaged backgrounds who complete high school and enroll in and complete their postsecondary education is the goal of the Talent Search program.
To accomplish this, the program enrolls individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds who have the potential to succeed in higher education. Then they provide program participants with academic, career and financial counseling, as well as help identifying financial aid resources and the postsecondary application process.
Graduating, either from high school or college, is a key focus of the program. All participants are encouraged to graduate from high school and continue on to, and complete, their postsecondary education. In addition, persons who have not completed high school or postsecondary education are encouraged to enroll and complete their education.
Introspect Youth Services operates two TRiO programs:
Focus Educational Talent Search Program Austin
Focus Educational Talent Search Program Proviso
Services provided by the program include:
- Academic, financial, career, or personal counseling including advice on entry or re-entry to secondary or postsecondary programs
- Career exploration and aptitude assessment
- Tutorial services
- Information on postsecondary education
- Exposure to college campuses
- Information on student financial assistance
- Assistance in completing college admissions and financial aid applications
- Assistance in preparing for college entrance exams
- Mentoring programs
- Special activities for sixth, seventh, and eighth graders
- Workshops for the families of participants
- Alternative Educational Programs
In addition, Talent Search leaders offer a multitude of education and training activities to assist participants that can include:
- Conducting consumer education and counseling to improve students’ financial and economic literacy
- Offering guidance on and assistance with secondary school reentry
- Identifying alternative education programs for secondary school dropouts
- Assisting with enrollment in GED or postsecondary education programs for students who are:
- limited English proficient
- members of groups that are traditionally underrepresented in postsecondary
- aging out of the foster care system, or;
- or other disconnected students.
PATH Upward Bound Math & Science Program – Austin
Low-income students in grades 9-12 who are potential first-generation college students are the target audience for the Pursuing Academic Through High School (PATH) and Upward Bound Math and Science (UBMS) program, a pre-college academic support program funded by the U.S. Department of Education.
The program engages high school students in activities and services designed to help them realize their potential to excel in Mathematics and Science. Students are encouraged to participate in various science and mathematics events to increase their motivation to pursue post-secondary studies in science, technology, engineering or mathematics.
- Academic Advising
- Career Orientation and Exploration
- Post-Secondary Guidance
- Financial Aid Advisement/Guidance
- Academic Workshops
- STEM Seminars/Workshops
- Campus Visits/Tours
- Parent Involvement/Participation
PATH UBMS is a year-round program which has two distinct components, an academic year, and a summer session. The Academic Year Component operates concurrent with the school academic year. The Summer Component operates for six weeks during the summer.
During the Academic Year Component participants engage in the following:
- Advisement sessions
- STEM enrichment activities including:
- Field Trips
- Cultural Events
Mentors lead a variety of interest groups that participants can join. They include:
- Digital Film Video Production and Editing
- Video Gaming/Interactive Design
- 3D Modeling/Renderings
- Solar Power/Wind Energy
- Space Exploration
- Medical Innovations
- Six (6) week Summer Session in which they attend classes, STEM seminars and cultural activities.
- Summer instruction in STEM-based curriculum
- Weekly activities outside the classroom feature STEM-related careers
Participants are engaged in one period of math and one period of science daily (Monday through Thursday). Mathematics instruction focuses on strengthening participants’ skills in high school algebra, geometry, trigonometry, and calculus. Science courses expand participants’ knowledge in Biology, Chemistry, and Physics.
Participants in the program must be enrolled in the ninth through tenthgrades at either Austin College and Career Academy, Frederick Douglass, or Michele Clark Academic Prep Magnet High School, and have a demonstrated interest in math or science. Rising ninth grade participants in the Summer Bridge program are also eligible to enter the PATH UBMS. All students must enter the program prior to their 12th grade.
Students interested in exploring STEM-related activities and career options can contact a PATH UBMS advisor at their school, or call Introspect Youth Services at (773) 287-2290.
PATH Upward Bound Program – Proviso
The U.S. Department of Education also funds the Pursuing Academics Through High School (PATH) Upward Bound Program. The program’s purpose is to increase the high school graduation rate for participants and prepare them to pursue and graduate from institutions of higher learning. Low income high school students whose parents have not earned a bachelor’s degree are eligible to participate in the PATH Upward Bound program.
PATH Upward Bound Program participants receive academic instruction in:
- Laboratory sciences
- Literature, and Foreign languages
In addition, the program aims to strengthen students’ financial and economic literacy through tutoring, counseling, mentoring, cultural enrichment education, and work-study programs. These programs and activities are also provided for students with special circumstances, including:
- Limited English proficiency
- Member of a group traditionally underrepresented in postsecondary education
- Disabled students
- Homeless students
- Students who are in foster care or are aging out of the foster care system or other disconnected students
Like the STEM-focused program, PATH Upward Bound is operated year round with an academic year module and a summer session. The academic year module operates concurrent with the school academic year. The summer session operates for six weeks during the summer.
During the school year, the emphasis is on tutoring, mentoring, and personal and financial advisement. Program activities also include:
- Postsecondary guidance
- Assistance with college preparation
- Exposure to culture programs
- Instruction in writing
- Instruction in study skills
- Guidance on postsecondary school re-entry
Participants must be ninth through 11th graders enrolled in Proviso East, Proviso West, or Proviso Math and Science Academy. Peers who desire to pursue a higher education. are recruiters for the program. PATH accepts rising 8th graders involved in the Summer Bridge Program. All students must enter the program prior to their 12th grade.
Students who desire to attend college should contact a PATH Upward Bound advisor at their school or call the Introspect Youth Services office at (773) 287-2290.
The FILE Program offers summer employment opportunities to young adults enrolled in post-secondary institutions. The opportunities can include fieldwork, internships, and leadership and empowerment experiences.
Coordinating services that facilitate and enhance the civic growth of youth on Chicago’s west side is the purpose of Introspect Youth Services’ social programs. The social development and well-being of our young people is vital to our community’s strength, so we develop civic engagement programming that includes:
- Voter educational and registration
- Student community services projects
- Service Learning projects