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NHI East Coast

Speak to our East Coast Project Administrator and team!


Steven L. Hernandez, Bronx, NY

Project Administrator


Carlos A. Bollar, Mount Laurel, NJ

JFL Fellow

Associate Project Administrator

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About our ALLIANCE

Welcome to the home of the National Hispanic Institute (NHI) East Coast Alliance! We are a committed group of NHI alumni and parents actively working alongside our fellow students and alumni along the East Coast and Puerto Rico, with the intent of engaging high ability youth in leadership development and preparing students to serve in future community leadership roles. 

History of NHI in the East Coast
NHI's roots in the East Coast go back to the early 1990s. Michelle Laredo, one of NHI's earliest New York participants and current Trustee, came back from the National LDZ energized and started to encourage fellow New York Catholic high school students to join up. Throughout the late 1990s and early 2000s, an annual contingency of New York metro area students participated in NHI programs. Around the same, pockets of students from Pennsylvania, Maryland, New Jersey, and Massachusetts started attending programs through NHI's efforts to start expanded its reach.  Current NHI Senior Vice President and first Pennsylvania participant, Julio Cotto, joined the home office after graduation from college with a special project of helping NHI grow into the East Coast. Through a unique partnership with Villanova University, NHI opened the Northeast Great Debate for 9th grade students and established the Villanova-NHI Leadership Service Center (LSC) in 2003. In 2006, NHI opened the New York LDZ at the University of Rochester. The previous year, NHI piloted the LDZ outside the U.S. mainland in Puerto Rico giving rise to the institute's work in Puerto Rico. Years later, the Northeast Collegiate World Series came to be held at New York University, the Wheelock College of Education at Boston University, Cabrini University, and Elizabethtown College just prior to the pandemic pause.

Despite the pandemic, NHI activity in the East Coast has continued and the regional Alliance has started taking shape, engaging members from New England to the Southeast US and Puerto Rico.  Led by Steven Hernandez, a former NHI Undergraduate of the Year and longtime volunteer, NHI East Coast continues NHI's work through a team of undergraduates, young professionals, and parents that provide direction in the Eastern states and communities. In 2023, NHI East Coast is excited to continue in person programming opportunities at our 2022-2023 partner institutions St. Francis University and St. Mary's College of Maryland.

Notable NHI East Coast Alumni:

  • Omar Cabrera, Reporter, Telemundo "El reporte de los Red Sox"; Public Relations, Cabrera Legal
    Boston, MA; alumnus of Boston Latin School, Boston University

  • Marc Colon, MBA Leadership Development Program Manager, Vanguard
    Philadelphia, PA native; alumnus of Benjamin Rush High School, Indiana University of Pennsylvania

  • Julio Cotto, Senior Vice President, NHI
    Lancaster, PA native; alumnus of McCaskey High School, Boston University

  • Michelle Laredo, NHI Trustee; Assistant Director, Event Management, Hofstra University
    Bayside, NY native; alumna of Cathedral High School, Vassar College

  • Carlos Menchaca, former New York City Councilman
    Brooklyn, NY resident; alumnus of Socorro High School, 

  • Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, United States Congresswoman
    The Bronx, NY, Washington, DC; alumna of Yorktown Heights High School, Boston University

  • Carlos Velasquez, Executive Director, Police Athletic League 
    New York, NY native; alumnus of LaSalle Academy, Cornell University

  • Mandy Velez Tatti, Managing Editor, The Daily Beast
    Philadelphia, PA native; alumna of Central High School, University of Pittsburgh

Below is a list of schools that we currently work alongside. If you would like to nominate a student, become a partner school, or donate towards our scholarship fund, please click on the links below.

Participating Schools

Abington Friends, Jenkintown, Pennsylvania
Kennett High School, Kennett Square, Pennsylvania
Academia Maria Reina, San Juan, Puerto Rico
Kimberton Waldorf School, Phoenixville, Pennsylvania
Academy of American Studies, Jackson Heights, New York
LEAP Academy, Camden, New Jersey
Academy of Mount St. Ursula, Bronx, New York
Lenape High School, Lenape, New Jersey
All Hallows High School, Bronx, New York
Lennard High School, Ruskin, Florida
American Military Academy, Guaynabo, Puerto Rico
Manheim Central High School, Manheim, Pennsylvania
Archbishop Molloy High School, Queens, New York
Mariana Bracetti Academy, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Archbishop Stepinac High School, White Plains, New York
Mars Area High School, Mars, Pennsylvania
Avon Grove High School, West Grove, Pennsylvania
Miller Place High School, Miller Place, New York
Bard High School Early College, Queens, New York
Newsome High School, Lithia, Florida
Bayard Rustin High School, West Chester, Pennsylvania
North Lebanon High School, Fredericksburg, Pennsylvania
Belen Jesuit College Preparatory, Miami, Florida
Notre Dame School, New York, New York
Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School, Chevy Chase, Maryland
Pittsford Sutherland High School, Pittsford, New York
Cardinal Hayes High School, Bronx, New York
Plant City High School, Plant City, Florida
Cardinal Spellman High School, Bronx, New York
Regis High School, New York, New York
Cathedral High School, New York, New York
Richard Montgomery High School, Rockville, Maryland
Catonsville High School, Catonsville, Maryland
Robinson High School, Tampa, Florida
Central Bucks High School, Doylestown, Pennsylvania
Sacred Heart High School, Yonkers, New York
Channel View School for Research, Queens, New York
Salesian High School, New Rochelle, New York
Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School, Rockville, Maryland
Salesianum High School, Wilmington, Delaware
Cherry Hill West High School, Cherry Hill, New Jersey
Sandy Spring Friends School, Sandy Spring, Maryland
Christopher Columbus High School, Miami, Florida
Science Leadership Academy, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Collegiate School - State College of Florida, Bradenton, Florida
Shorecrest Preparatory School, St. Petersburg, Florida
Creative Arts Morgan Village Academy, Camden, New Jersey
Spoto High School, Riverview, Florida
Cristo Rey New York High School, New York, New York
St. Alban’s School, Washington, District of Columbia
Cristo Rey Philadelphia High School, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
St. Jean Baptiste High School, New York, New York
Edison High School, Alexandria, Virginia
Strawberry Crest High School, Dover, Florida
Frank Delano Roosevelt High School, Brooklyn, New York
Suitland High School, District Heights, Maryland
Haddonfield Memorial High School, Haddonfield, New Jersey
Teaneck High School, Teaneck, New Jersey
Harlem Village Academies, New York, New York
The Albany Academy, Albany, New York
Henderson Reed High School, West Chester, Pennsylvania
Westtown School, West Chester, Pennsylvania
J. P. McCaskey High School, Lancaster, Pennsylvania
Whitehall High School, Whitehall, Pennsylvania
John Jay High School, Cross River, New York
Windermere High School, Windermere, Florida
Julia R. Masterman Laboratory and Demonstration School, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Wyoming Seminary College Prep, Kingston, Pennsylvania

National Hispanic Institute

P.O. Box 220
Maxwell, Texas 78656

+1 (512) 357-6137

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