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VSAC Talent Search program wins national video competition

Enosburg family and Putney students make education opportunity No. 1

Aja and Kaelan Selbach-Broad
Aja (left) and Kaelan Selbach-Broad are Talent Search students from Putney who created the video.

WINOOSKI (Aug. 12, 2015) – A video featuring an Enosburg family about education opportunity has won a national video competition.

The Lombard Family: A TRIO Talent Search Success Story,” features five sisters who have participated in the Talent Search education program with outreach counselors from Vermont Student Assistance Corp. The video was filmed and edited by Putney twins Aja and Kaelan Selbach-Broad, Talent Search students at Bellows Falls Union High School.

Talent Search is one of two statewide VSAC outreach programs that offer career and college planning services to eligible middle school and high school students and their parents. Talent Search, a federal grant program from the U.S. Department Education, encourages students to set high academic expectations, complete high school and prepare to enter education or training programs after high school.


VSAC Talent Search provides services to 37 targeted middle schools and high schools and serves over 1,000 students each year.

The Lombard Family
Micaela Lombard (center), is one of five sisters featured in the video. Michaela will attend Middlebury College.

“We’re thrilled to showcase the VSAC Talent Search program on a national stage, but honestly, the Lombard family and Aja and Kaelan Selbach-Broad are so inspiring in capturing the power of hard work and education,” said Scott Giles, VSAC president and CEO. “And it’s particularly gratifying because VSAC, too, is celebrating 50 years of changing lives through education and this video gives voice to the hopes and dreams of so many of the students and families we serve.”

The Council for Opportunity in Education hosted the video contest to celebrate 50 years of Talent Search, one of the “TRIO” of federally funded college access and success programs created in the Higher Education Act of 1965.

In choosing the VSAC video, judges wrote “We appreciate the hard work, detail and creativity that your students demonstrated in making this video and we look forward to highlighting it as a part of our ongoing celebration of Talent Search at our 34th Annual Conference.”

COE has invited five members of the team to Atlanta for the annual conference Sept. 16 -19. The video will be shown at the opening of the conference and students will participate in a panel discussion, followed by interviews at the StoryCorps studio and a grand finale presentation:  The Power of Students’ and Communities’ Stories.

Here’s a description: “This year’s 50th anniversary Talent Search video uncovered powerful stories of odds surmounted and difficulties overcome by students, by their families, within schools and across communities. This session will engage pre-collegiate educators in an exploration of the power of story and how to incorporate these approaches in pre-college curricula, summer programs and academic year projects. Discussion of both visual and written storytelling will be led by staff members from StoryCorps, Atlanta and Talent Search 50th Video Contest winner team members.”

About Council for Opportunity in Education

The Council for Opportunity in Education is a nonprofit organization, established in 1981, dedicated to furthering the expansion of college opportunities for low-income, first-generation students, veterans and students with disabilities. It serves 790,000 low-income students and students with disabilities each year receive college access and retention services through our member colleges and agencies. Services include: assistance in choosing a college; tutoring; personal and financial counseling; career counseling; assistance in applying to college; workplace and college visits; special instruction in reading, writing, study skills, and mathematics; assistance in applying for financial aid; and academic assistance in high school or assistance to re-enter high school or college. Learn more at

About VSAC – Changing Lives through Education and Training since 1965

Vermont Student Assistance Corporation is a public, nonprofit agency established by the Vermont Legislature in 1965 to help Vermonters achieve their education and training goals after high school. VSAC serves students and their families in grades 7-12, as well as adults returning to school, by providing education and career planning services, need-based grants, scholarships and education loans. VSAC has awarded more than $600 million in grants and scholarships for Vermont students, and also administers Vermont’s 529 college savings plan. Share your VSAC story by email to myVSACstory@vsac.orgor submit a video to YouTube. Find us at or check in on Facebook and Twitter. #changing lives


This entry was posted on Wednesday, August 12th, 2015 at 9:33 am and is filed under News & Views, Recommended Reading, VSAC News Releases.Both comments and pings are currently closed.