Jeannie Origbo is the Director for the Montana Educational Talent Search grant program funded by the Department of Education. Jeannie brings a combined eight years of experience in both secondary and post-secondary education. She taught for six years on the Fort Belknap Indian Reservation in Hays, Montana. She has been a member of Two-Year and Community College Education Division since June 2011 at the Office of the Commissioner of Higher Education.
Aspen Herndon is the Assistant Program Services & Data Manager for the Montana Educational Talent Search program. Aspen is a recent graduate from Helena College of the University of Montana with an A.S. degree in Mental Health Direct Care. Aspen will be continuing her education in the field of Psychology. Aspen also worked for 3 years as the work study under the Assistant to the Dean/CEO at Helena College University of Montana. Aspen has 2 daughters ages 8 and 5 who are the motivation behind finishing her degree.
Michael has worked in Youth Development for the past 11 years in areas of Program Development, Leadership Development, Cultural Competency, Diversity, and College Prep. For the past 3 years, he served as the Pre-College Advisor for the Flathead area in Western Montana. Michael enjoys working to help people in the communities to become successful in their goals. In addition, Michael served 2 years as a Trustee for the Diversity Advisory Council for Spokane Public Schools, and 3 years as an elected School Board Trustee for the Polson School District. Michael also an advocate of Community Service and has in the past served as a coach in softball, basketball, baseball and football.
Joe Jessepe (Blackfeet) is currently a part-time Pre-College Advisor at Browning High School. He also works part-time for Upward Bound. Joe works with the student in filling out and submitting tuition and fee waivers and various scholarship applications. Some of his students have been awarded the prestigious Horatio Alger and Gates Millennium scholarships. He sees his job as not only getting students into college, but also giving them the tools necessary to succeed and obtain a degree.
Casey Figueroa (Apache, Tohono O'Odham, Yaqui, Mexican, Irish) is a Flathead Area Pre-College Advisor. Casey earned his Bachelor's of Fine Arts from the University of Massachusetts and is currently pursuing his Master's Degree in Native American Studies from MSU-Bozeman. Casey is an artist and educator, with over 20 years of experience working with Native Communities across the United States. Casey's artwork focuses on Contemporary Native visual expression and exploration of Native Identity.
Crystal Little Owl is a mother of two and a proud member of the Aaniiih (Gros Ventre). She is originally from the Fort Belknap Indian reservation but has been living in the Flathead valley for 7+ years. Crystal holds a bachelor of Science in Community Health degree from the University of Montana. She believes in the value of higher education and all the possibilities it can open.
Dugan Coburn (Blackfeet/Klamath/Pit River) is a Great Falls Pre-College Advisor for the Montana Educational Talent Search Program. He has a B.S. in Medical Technology and has been a small business owner. He has lived in Great Falls for the past 18 years. He enjoys helping students and families realize that they can continue their education past high school.
Talent Search is one of the TRiO programs (Talent Search, Upward Bound, Student Support Services) created by Congress in 1965 to provide equal opportunity for higher education to all Americans.