LSSC’s Talent Search (ETS) Program assists middle school, high school, and students who left high school before graduating, in Lake and Sumter County. The program’s goal is to increase the number of youth from disadvantaged backgrounds who complete high school and enroll in and complete their postsecondary education 

Services include but are not limited to: 

  • Academic and career exploration workshops
  • College visits and preparation sessions
  • Family events 
  • Assistance with the college and financial aid processes

How can I apply/Am I eligible to apply?

Students and school dropouts may be eligible to receive services if their parent(s) or legal guardian(s) did not attain a bachelor’s degree and if they meet the income eligibility requirements set forth by the U.S. Department of Education. All participants are required to submit an application, including evidence of yearly family income, family composition (number of members in the family), and the level of education of their parent(s) or guardian(s). Applications may be obtained from the guidance offices at our selected schools.  

Talent Search Managers

Daniel Terry

Mr. Daniel Terry is a 2005 graduate of the LSSC’s Upward Bound Program. He obtained his General Studies degree from LSSC and BA in Legal Studies from the University of Central Florida. Immediately after graduation he worked as a Paralegal and Child Protective Investigator for the Department of Children and Families. From humble beginnings, he overcame many obstacles in his pursuit for higher education. His challenges in his personal and educational pursuits have made him a relatable, positive and dedicated role model for the students served in the Trio programs.

Location: Leesburg Campus
Phone: 352-365-3543
Fax: 352-435-5012

2019-2020 Target Schools:
Umatilla Middle
Carver Middle
Oak Park Middle
Umatilla High School
Leesburg High School

Maribel Torres

Maribel Torres is the Talent Search Manager in the South Lake area with a decade of successful experience working with TRIO Programs. She graduated from Florida International University with a Bachelor’s of Art in Psychology and a Masters in Education with a major in Guidance Counseling. She is bilingual in Spanish and English and has a diverse professional experience in fields related to academic advising, mentoring, and self-discovering.  Maribel was the first in her family to attend college and knows how exciting is to potentially be the first person in the family to earn a college degree. She is eager to share her experiences and help students reach their goals and pursue a college education.

Location: South Lake Campus
Phone: 352-536-2107
Fax: 352-243-0117

2019-2020 Target Schools:
Windy Hill Middle
East Ridge High
Gray Middle
South Lake High

Sonja G. Sanders

Sonja G. Sanders is currently the TRIO Talent Search Manager at Lake Sumter State College and has been a member of the LSSC Family since 2005. Sonja has been active with the TRIO Community for 10 years. A former Finance Manager, Sonja came to the Educational Opportunity Programs department with leadership development, research for scholarships, and mentoring experience to advocate and educate for the voiceless.Sonja is a proud member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., where she has served in the capacity of Treasurer, Assistant Treasurer and Chaired the Finance Committee to the Leesburg Alumnae Chapter. This organizations focus is providing community service and education to the local community. Sonja holds a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from the Mississippi Valley State University. Sonja believes access to education is a RIGHT, not a privilege, and one of her favorite quotes by Michelle Obama is “There is no magic to achievement.  It is really about hard work, choices and persistence.”

Location: South Lake Campus
Phone: 352-568-0001 Ext. 1005
Fax: 352-568-7515

2019-2020 Target Schools:
South Sumter Middle School
South Sumter High School
Wildwood Middle High School