Educational Talent Search Program

First Generation College Student LogoHigh School Students: Get the Mentoring You Need

Eligible high school students in the Joliet district can take part in the Education Talent Search (ETS Trio) program. All participants receive mentorship as they plan for their life after high school. Approximately 500 youth participate in this federally funded program each year. Benefits of this program include:

  • Personalized advising and mentoring
  • College and career exposure
  • Academic support
  • And much more!

Trio Logo Educational Talent SearchEligibility and Requirements

To participate, you must:

  • Be a U.S. citizen

You must have one of the following:

  • A documented disability
  • A family household income that meets guidelines established by the U.S. Department of Education
  • Be a potential first generation college student (your parents/adoptive parents or legal guardians have not received a bachelor's degree)

Apply to the ETS Program

Educational Talent Search Application

How We Can Help

  • Services Offered to ETS Students

    Academic Support

    • Tutoring
    • Help with selecting high school courses
    • Help with growing study skills

    Career Exploration Workshops (see our events section below)

    • Resume Building
    • College Prep
    • College Visits
    • Financial Aid & Scholarship Assistance

    Personal Development

    • Leadership skills
    • Cultural Enrichment opportunities
    • Community Service 


    • College planning
    • Test prep
    • Financial Aid & Financial Literacy
    • Scholarships

  • Schools Served

    The Educational Talent Search program primarily serves high school students at Joliet Township, Joliet Central and Joliet West. 

  • Financial Resources

  • Meet Our Staff


    DeAndre R. Butler, Senior Director
    Phone: (815) 280-2303

    DeAndre R. Butler is a TRIO/Student Support Services alum from Northern Illinois University. At NIU, he achieved his bachelor’s degree in sociology. In 2007, Butler landed his first job in the higher education field at Colorado Technical University Online, as an Admissions Advisor. He decided to further his education in higher ed and student affairs and graduated with a master's degree in education from NIU in 2010. 

    Butler was born and raised in Harvey, Illinois and came from a first-generation and low-income household where he was the first in his family to graduate with his bachelor’s. He is very committed to his work with JJC Student Support Services. Butler is a strong believer in assisting students on being successful while attending JJC so that they can graduate and transfer. He is actively involved with organizations, clubs and committees for the benefit of his students and department.

    Latrice Bradshaw
    Latrice Bradshaw, ETS Coordinator
    Phone: (815) 280-1448

    Chicago native Latrice Bradshaw has spent her life actively supporting diverse populations of students through their growth and development. She is passionate about helping students find their niche in life and has consistently encouraged them to reach new heights. Bradshaw is a wife and mother of two who upholds herself with high esteem. She holds a bachelor's of arts degree in English and communications from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville. She also has a master's in higher education leadership and is currently pursuing her doctorate of education degree from Concordia University Chicago. As ETS Program Coordinator, Bradshaw organizes and leads initiatives to further develop and support students in achieving their goals. Having the opportunity to mentor, advise and implement strategies to aid in post-secondary success is not only her passion and purpose, but it's also the most rewarding experience she's ever had.

    Jailen Jones
    Jailen Jones, ETS Success Coach
    Phone: (815) 280-1408

    Jailen Jones was born and raised in the city of Joliet. Jailen graduated at the top of his class at Joliet Central High school. He was a part of several clubs, two of which are Mu Alpha Theta and the National Honors Society. Jailen earned an athletic scholarship at the NAIA level playing at both Briar Cliff University in Sioux City Iowa and the University of St. Francis.

    Jailen currently serves as an Educational Outreach Specialist for the Educational Talent Search TRIO program at Joliet Junior College that serves over 500 students annually in the Joliet Township High School District, which mostly consists of First-Generation & Low-income students.

    Jailen has served as an Assistant Coach of the Men's Basketball Team for two years at his alma mater, the University of St. Francis, and worked with programs such as Teen Achievers (YMCA), Northern Illinois Food Bank, The Boys and Girls Club, and the SOS Children’s Village of Illinois. He is very passionate about serving the community, especially for the youth with similar upbringings to his own.

    Connor Herrington, ETS Program Assistant
    Phone: (815) 280-1449

    Connor Herrington has been working in higher education for three years. He began working at JJC as a student employee in the former JJC Counseling Office. He holds an associate of arts degree in business from JJC and he is currently obtaining his bachelor of science degree in business administration from Eastern Illinois University. Since starting his professional career, he has devoted himself to making sure all students have everything they need to be their best personally and academically. It is his personal goal to make sure that all students are successful, understood, and cared for.

    Dr. Alison Shimko
    Dr. Alison Shimko, Educational Outreach Specialist

    Dr. Alison Shimko was born and raised in the western suburbs of Chicago. She graduated Magna Cum Laude and Phi Beta Kappa from Illinois Wesleyan University. She earned a master of arts degree from Marquette University and a doctorate in history from Purdue University. She worked in higher education for more than seven years and was an adjunct history professor at Purdue University and the Georgia Institute of Technology. She has been passionate about diversity and inclusion since high school. Most recently, she volunteered for LaAmistad, a program devoted to teaching elementary Latinx students self-sufficiency and confidence. In her role at JJC, she serves low-income and first-generation Joliet Township High School District students, leveling the playing field when it comes to college applications, acceptance and retention. This role is at the intersection of her greatest strengths and passions: teaching, mentorship and inclusion.


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