Talent Search

Who are we?

San Diego State University Talent Search is a TRiO program funded by the U.S. Department of Education to assist students in pursuing a postsecondary education. Talent Search is a FREE program open to eligible 9th-12th grade students at participating high schools. Contact your advisor today to see how Talent Search can help you!

Our academic advisors have extensive experience from diverse backgrounds (e.g., social work, psychology, counseling and education) and we take a holistic approach in the work that we do. We understand that our students might be facing challenges and potential obstacles in addition to their academic careers. However, we strive to motivate and provide them with academic, social and emotional support, and teach the importance of self-advocacy.

SDSU Talent Search

Take a look at our 2017-2018 Newsletter.


What do we do?

Your advisor can assist you with the following:

  • Career exploration and selecting a major
  • Choosing the classes required for college admission
  • One-on-one academic advising (college eligibility)
  • Provide encouragement, support and motivation (honoring your choices)
  • Selecting and applying to universities, colleges and vocational schools
  • Applying for financial aid, including grants, scholarships, and loans
  • Financial literacy education (e.g., budgeting, and how to take out loans responsibly)
  • Finding volunteer opportunities and internships
  • Provide information on SAT/ACT tests, fee waivers, test-prep workshops and assist with registration
  • Referrals to other programs, resources, and events that might be of interest to you
  • Field trips to college campuses!
  • In-class tutoring service provided by SDSU's Pathways tutors (through the College of Education)
  • Seniors who are active in the program, receive a FREE Talent Search graduation sash

Want to get started? 

Visit our Student Resource Page. Find scholarships, community service opportunities, career exploration questionnaires, college preparation information (e.g. financial aid, A-G Classes, tips for selecting a college, test requirements) , professional development tips (e.g. resume, interviews, study tips, self care), and community resources (community events, crisis hotlines and free/low-cost services). You can also find a link to this page at the bottom of this website.

Students also have the opportunity to participate in the following program components:

Summer Leadership Academy

The week-long camp took place at San Diego State University.
Each day was constructed around a different theme of leadership:
Self Awareness, Honesty/Commitment, Communication, Vision and Courage/Discipline.

Our students participated in engaging team-building activities, listened to motivating guest speakers  and practiced leadership skills that will help them increase their potential for academic success in the coming school year.


Students at SDSU


Student at workshop

STEM Exploration Day

STEM Exploration Day focused on workshops, labs, presentations, student panels and hands-on activities related to the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics fields. 

Some of the presenters and activities included: Planetarium, Ocean Discovery Institute, Computer Visualization Lab, Chemistry Lab Tour, Student Panel, SACNAS at SDSU, RP Oceans Lab, Medlife, Beta Alpha Psi and a STEM Workshop.

The event allowed current SDSU students and professors to showcase their work, research, laboratories and to share their experience and learning opportunities. Future students learned from peer mentors and the community and SDSU Pre-College Institute had the opportunity to recruit student participants.

Neuroscience Camp

The highly selective 2-week summer program exposed students to neural engineering research, hands-on activities, college labs and classrooms while working with SDSU Professor Dr. Sarkar and her assistants.

The camp took place in San Diego State University and was completely FREE for the student participants. Towards the end of the program, each student had the opportunity to present their research, potential contributions to the neuroscience field, and their possible interest of study to the rest of the class.


Remind Text Messages

Destination: College

Destination: College is a project designed to mitigate summer melt (when prospective college students fail to matriculate in the fall after high school graduation).
The services we provide consist of 1) 
Proactive counselor outreach to students and 2) Text messaging campaign to students, identifying important summer tasks to complete.

Destination: College is a collaborative effort within the SDSU Pre-College Institute. Four Talent Search Advisor and one Upward Bound Advisor reach out to "priority" students, who have been identified as being more likely to encounter obstacles when enrolling to college.

Destination: Degree

Beyond summer melt, students might face additional obstacles during their time in college, especially their first year. Destination: Degree is another SDSU Pre-College Institute initiative to support our students in their completion of their post-secondary education.

During Destination: College, advisors identified the priority students who might need additional guidance/help once in college. Our research assistant will reach out to these students during Destination: Degree, determining needs and issues to address, and creating protocols for following years.


Graduating students

How do I join?

A completed application is required for participation. Though our program targets students from low-income households who are first generation in their families to pursue a college degree, up to 1/3 of our students do not meet these qualifications. A signed verification of your family's income is needed for statistical purposes. This information is kept confidential and used only to meet U.S. Department of Education Regulations.

Below, you will find information regarding the Talent Search advisor at our participating schools.

 Jamie Bermejo

Counselor: Jamie Bermejo-Lazo
Castle Park High
Tuesday 8:00 am - 4:00 pm at the Library

Montgomery High
Thursdays 8:00 am - 4:00 pm at the Counseling Office

Cell: (442) 999-4779
Office: (619) 594-3474
email: [email protected]


Gerardo Chagolla

Counselor: Gerardo Chagolla
O'Farell High
Tuesdays & Wednesdays 8:00 am - 4:00 pm at Counseling Center

Southwest High
Mondays 8:00 am - 4:00 pm at the Counseling Office

Office: (619) 594-2292
email: [email protected] 
email2: [email protected]


Rachel Rojas

Counselor: Rachel Rojas
Hoover High
Tuesday 8:30 am - 4:00 pm at Room 351-A (By Music Room)

Morse High
Thursdays 8:30 am - 4:00 pm at the Counseling Office, Room 7

Cell: (619) 607-3481
Office: (619) 594-3474
email: [email protected] 


Anwar Shariff

Counselor: Anwar Shariff
Lincoln High
Monday through Thursday 9:00 am - 4:00 pm at the College and Career Center

Cell: (619) 408-2429
Office: (619) 594-3474
email: [email protected] 


Fernanda Miramontes

Counselor: Fernanda Miramontes
Crawford High
Tuesday & Thursdays 7:00 am - 3:00 pm at the Counseling Center

Cell: (619) 483-1416
Office: (619) 594-3474
email: [email protected]  

Student Demographics:

Advising and Tutoring Numbers

STEM and Destination College Numbers

 Gender Numbers
Income and Education Numbers
Post Secondary Enrollment
 Ethnicity and Race

Our Partner Schools:

Sweetwater Union District and Charter Schools:

San Diego Unified District Schools: