The Weatherford College TRIO Programs were well represented in Hawkins, as more than 15 students and staff members attended the Southwest Association of Student Assistance Programs, Inc. student leadership conference last month.Representing WC TRIO Programs were Educational Talent Search students Nagelly Cabrera, Addison Fundis, Alma Hernandez, Nick Glaub and Ana Palacios of Weatherford; Cain Elliott, Hayden Beason, and Jacoby Russell of Mineral Wells; Anthony Sandoval of Santo and Upward Bound students Josue Ramirez of Springtown and Lance Winebrinner of Millsap. WC staff members attending were John Turntine and Keilah Villarreal of the WC Talent Search program and Jeff Kahlden, director of the Upward Bound program.More than 175 students and staff came from Arkansas, Oklahoma, Louisiana and across Texas to attend the conference for students involved in Federal TRIO Programs from the Southwest area. The conference’s theme, “Unmasking the Leader Within,” consisted of sessions on how to improve leadership skills to become the leader already inside of the student.Conference co-chairs Darica Simon of Baton Rouge Community College and John Turntine of WC planned the three days of application leadership, experiential leadership and guest speakers and even community service opportunities for the students as they assisted with a food and toiletry items drive for Hawkins Helping Hands.Additionally, the conference sponsored a scholarship essay contest and awarded more than $18,000 in scholarships and prizes to students present at the conference. WC students Josue Ramirez, Lance Winebrinner and Anthony Sandoval each received a $200 scholarship for their essay entries. Ramirez and Jacoby Russell also received an additional $100 scholarship based upon their visible leadership at the conference.“This money will be very helpful for these students to use for their college futures, and I am very proud that all three students won a scholarship at this awesome event,” Kahlden said.The WC Educational Talent Search and Upward Bound programs are federally funded TRIO programs that prepare junior high and high school students for college. Students in the program are first-generation, college potential, must meet certain income guidelines and must attend one of five target high schools in the area.For more information about Upward Bound at WC, contact Kahlden at 817-598-6485 or email@example.com or Turntine at 817-598-6482 or firstname.lastname@example.org.