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Appalachian Educational Talent Search is a TRIO program funded by the U.S. Department of Education and sponsored by Douglas-Cherokee Economic Authority. Talent Search first started serving area students in 1991. The program identifies and assists individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds who have the potential to succeed in higher education. The program provides academic, career, and financial counseling to its participants and encourages them to graduate from high school and continue on to and complete their post-secondary education. The program publicizes the availability of financial aid and assist participant with the post-secondary application process. Talent Search also encourages persons who have not completed education programs at the secondary or post-secondary level to enter or reenter and complete post-secondary education. The goal of Talent Search is to increase the number of youth from disadvantaged backgrounds who complete high school and enroll in and complete their post-secondary education.

We provide services in the following areas: tutoring and referrals, career exploration, aptitude assessments, academic counseling, mentoring, workshops, information on post-secondary institutions, financial aid assistance, assistance with college entrance applications,  and much more.





Founded in 1965, DCEA is a community action agency serving 30 counties in Tennessee and 2 counties in Eastern Kentucky. The purpose of the agency is to help families living in poverty improve their lives by providing them with assistance and services that they are not able to provide for themselves. The main focus of the agency is to help people help themselves. The agency's mission is to provide resources, tools, and opportunities that help low-incomes families and individuals of all ages achieve personal, economic, and social stability. Current programs located at DCEA include: Upward Bound (2 programs), EOC, Talent Search, Head Start, Early Head Start, LIHEAP, Meals on Wheels, Neighborhood Service Centers, RSVP Senior Corps, Affordable Housing, Hamblen County Workforce and Education Partnership, 21st Century Learning Centers, Lottery for Education Afterschool Programs, and SRAE.


Since 1991, DCEA's Talent Search program has helped thousands of participants, in its 5 counties in Tennessee and Kentucky to enroll in college or vocational school, graduate with a degree or certificate, and better their economic potential. We strive to continually improve the program and increase services to participants because outcomes matter.


  • U.S. citizens and or permanent residents who attend target schools in Bell, Campbell, Claiborne, Harlan, or Scott county (grades 6-12).



All services are free!


Upcoming Events & Program News

  • FAFSA Assistance is still available-just contact your TS Adviser for help

  • Summer Program Trip-Orlando FL         July 8-12, 2024

  • Senior Summer Melt Contacts-Seniors, your TS Adviser will be contacting you once a month this summer. Please respond so they can help you stay on track for your Fall post secondary plans.

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