Montana Tech Talent Search Club Largest Club at East Middle School


Montana Technological University’s Talent Search Club is now the largest club at East Middle School, with over 100 students. In September 2022, Montana Tech received a Talent Search grant to provide first-generation students with a path into college. Montana Tech also received two $1.5 M grants to serve 1,010 middle and high school students in Southwestern Montana.

In 2017, the university hired Kristy Wiley, a teacher at East Middle School, to serve as a talent search coach at the middle school. In her first four years in the position, Wiley’s caseload averaged 55 students. She is now experiencing a participation increase of 200%. “We are so lucky to have Kristy as our East Middle School representative for TRIO Talent Search,” noted Michelle Christianson, director of the TRIO Talent Search program. “She has increased participation and is a true Rockstar. She gives our program and her students her all.”

Kristy Wiley, the coordinator at East Middle School, has exceeded goals in recruiting and serving students. Wiley and her students have been engaged in robotic activities to increase science and math interest. Wiley has also coordinated field trips to increase student confidence and knowledge about college campuses and helped students become civilly engaged by providing community service opportunities.

Wiley added, “I believe in this program and love the idea of allowing all students to explore college options, even at this young age. TRIO Talent Search is designed to work with the students’ busy schedules and opens various doors and paths to different colleges in-state and out of state. The students enjoy the Talent Search socials and being part of something. It’s fun to get to know the students’ goals and dreams for the future. It’s been a pleasure working with the TRIO Talent Search staff at Montana Tech. I am impressed with their compassion and desire for a brighter future for our students.”

To learn more about TRIO talent search, please visit….