Talent Search

The Talent Search Program strives to identify and assist 6th-12th grade students from disadvantaged backgrounds who have the potential to succeed in higher education. Talent Search staff will work with eligible students as they plan and prepare for postsecondary education through a variety of activities at the school site and on the campus of Florida Gulf Coast University.

 Upcoming Talent Search Events

Trio/Outreach Talent Search flyer - decorative image


Virtual Summer Camps Were a Success!

During the summer of 2020, the Florida Gulf Coast University TRIO Talent Search Program turned to virtual programming to extend services to participants through the COVID-19 pandemic. There were three virtual summer camps held in June. Middle school students participated in a rigorous STEM camp, which taught them computer programming and coding. Guidney Lumene, a student at Lehigh Acres Middle School, reflected on her virtual summer camp experience, wherein she said, "Summer camp taught me a lot of things. It taught me how to code in two different ways (using Scratch and Repl). It was very fun."


High school students had the opportunity to participate in a College & Career virtual summer camp, which focused on financial planning, resume writing, and other topics to prepare them for college enrollment and the workforce. Dean King, a rising 9th grade student at East Lee County High School said this about his virtual camp experience, "I learned how to prioritize, manage money, and become a better, successful teenager and upcoming adult."


In addition to STEM and College & Career, there was also a week-long virtual ACT Prep Camp for 11th and 12th grade participants. Gabriela Santiago-Plaud, a student at East Lee County High School said, "The FGCU summer camp was a great experience for me because I got to learn new ways to prepare for the ACT test, and also practice skills that I already knew. The teachers were very nice and helpful. It was overall a very nice experience."


According to Dr. Angela J. Corley, Project Director for the FGCU TRIO Talent Search Program, it was a collective effort to bring together the virtual summer camps. She said, "Our team worked hard to facilitate these virtual camps. However, we could not have been successful without the help of many departments at Florida Gulf Coast University; as well as faculty and staff from iTutor, which a great partner for an online educational platform for secondary students." 

Photo of Guidney


Photo of Dean


Photo of Gabriela


FGCU Welcomes New Talent Search Project Director

Dr. Angela J. Corley

During the summer of 2019, Florida Gulf Coast University welcomed Dr. Angela J. Corley to serve as the new project director for Talent Search. Dr. Corley comes to the university with several years of experience in working with potential first-generation college students, more specifically TRIO students. Prior to joining FGCU, Dr. Corley worked at Florida A&M University in Tallahassee, Florida. Upon graduating from Florida State University with a doctorate in Educational Leadership, she decided to continue her passion for developing and implementing initiatives that support students in their pursuit of higher education by joining the FGCU TRIO and Outreach Programs staff under the Division of Student Success and Enrollment Management.

Dr. Dolores Kiesler, Senior Director for Academic and Support Programs at Florida Gulf University, stated, “We are excited to welcome Dr. Corley aboard, and we feel that she will be an asset to our team.” Dr. Corley stated, “This is an amazing opportunity. I am very grateful to be in a position to contribute my expertise and passion towards providing outstanding service to TRIO students, parents, and the FGCU community.”

Read more about Dr. Corley

FGCU Talent Search Names New Mascot

During the start of the 2019-2020 academic year, the FGCU Talent Search program kicked-off a campaign to name the program’s new mascot--the tree frog. This adorable creature was selected to represent the program because of its unique qualities. The tree frog is known for its beautiful colors, bright red eyes, and small stature. However, this amphibian is also a master of disguise and uses its vibrant colors to survive in the wild. Much like the tree frog, Talent Search students are often underestimated, and yet they have proven to be resilient.

Talent Search participants and their parents were given the opportunity to vote on a name for the new mascot. Close to 100 votes were collected, and we are proud to introduce Surge the Tree Frog. The name Surge means a sudden, powerful, and upward movement. We believe the Talent Search participants should mimic the characteristics of Surge the Tree Frog, as they pursue higher education in a powerful way. Stay tuned for more appearances from Surge at FGCU_talentsearch on Instagram, or maybe even at your school. 

View Flyer 

Seniors in the Talent Search Program at Dunbar High School and East Lee High School gathered for the first of two Pre-College Mentoring days at Florida Gulf Coast University on Saturday, February 23, 2019.  FGCU college students are serving as mentors and are guiding the seniors through these last months of high school and through the transition to college. 

In the first half-day session, the students discussed their concerns about college and received tips from the college students about how to make move to college go more smoothly.  The seniors created a roadmap which outlines important dates, such as college orientation date, housing application deadline, move-in day, and first day of classes. 

Prior to the next session on March 16, the seniors will take the Learning and Study Skills Inventory (LASSI) and the Perceptions, Expectations, Emotions and Knowledge Inventory (PEEK).  Results of these inventories will be shared and discussed on the second Saturday meeting, along with selecting possible college courses, understanding how to use a college syllabus, and what to expect in a financial aid letter.  Mentors will also serve on a panel to answer questions about life in college.


Applications for Fall 2021 are now being accepted if your student will be attending Dunbar High School, East Lee County High School, Lehigh Acres Middle School, or Paul Laurence Dunbar Middle School.  If you have any questions about the program or how to become a participant, please contact the appropriate Talent Search Coordinator below

Mr. Dakendo Michel, Coordinator for the following schools:

  • Lehigh Acres Middle School
  • East Lee County High School 

Ms. Darcy Dalziel, Coordinator for the following schools:

  • Paul Laurence Dunbar Middle School
  • Dunbar High School

Download Talent Search Application

  • Goals and Objectives

  • Eligibility Requirements

  • Services

  • Program History

  • Social Media


Talent Search Project Director
Dr. Angela J. Corley 

Talent Search Coordinator
Dakendo Michel
239-369-2932 x1011

Talent Search Coordinator
Darcy Dalziel
239-461-5322 x1155

Related Links

FGCU Campus

We’re here to answer your questions.

TRiO and Outreach Programs

McTarnaghan Hall, Room 202
10501 FGCU Boulevard South
Fort Myers, Florida 33965

(239) 590-7834

(239) 590-7947 (Fax)