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General NHI Volunteer Information

Annually, hundreds of volunteers support NHI's mission and work. There are various ways one can participate as a volunteer whether you are an alumnus/a or former participant of an NHI program, former employee, parent, or are new to NHI and want to get involved. The majority of NHI's volunteer opportunities take place during the late  Spring and Summer months. Although, we may have some Fall and Winter opportunities coming soon.

All volunteers regardless of their level of participation or length of service annually register their participation, complete an official 2023-2024 Volunteer Agreement and Release of Liability form, and complete the 2 educational coursework. Some volunteers, depending on their role or project assignment, may be required to complete additional requirements. In addition, we expect all volunteers to uphold the highest standards of professionalism and ethics. Please read more about our I AM NHI Fundamentals and Code  of Professionalism and Ethics. For more detailed information or if you have questions, please contact us or use the interest registration forms that best fits you located below. 

Contact us to learn more about our various initiatives throughout the year and the steps you can take to formally volunteer with NHI in 2023-2024:


NHI HQ PHONE NUMBER: 512-357-6137 during our business hours of 8:30 am - 12:30 pm / 1:30 pm - 5:30 pm (CDT)

2024 NHI Volunteer Travel Information:  Official Travel Guide for NHI VOLUNTEERS 2024 v1.3 [Final].pdf(Click the link for the travel guide).

Please read below for the necessary requirements and information needed in order to volunteer for this Summer 2024 program season. 


If you are a current NHI High School member that has participated in either the Great Debate, LDZ, or CWS, you are welcome to compete for a volunteer role for the Summer of 2024. NHI High School members are required to have participated prior to volunteering at a program. The best way to do this is to 'cross-over' to their next program. If the student had participated in a Great Debate program in 2023, they must be registered for a 2024 LDZ in order to volunteer as a JFL at the 2024 Great Debate. The second assignment which is not exclusive to High School members, but is required - is the recruitment of at LEAST 5 new NHI'ers to any of the 2024 NHI programs. Recruitment is vital to our High School members, as the students are able to continuously practice their leadership skills within their communities. If a student needs any assistance with their 'cross-over' program OR recruitment, feel free contact us! NHI offers distribution of recruitment materials upon request and can assist you with how to fundraise within your community. High School members are welcome to compete for positions such as Texas Great Debate (4-day) JFLs (regionally chosen), LDZ Junior Counselors, or CWS Umpires. Although, the choices for High School members doesn't end there - they can compete for further roles such as photographers, social media assistants, merch table directors, and MORE.

If you are an interested High School member, please use the registration link below and to the left to register today!


If you are a current NHI Undergraduate member that has participated in either the Great Debate, LDZ, or CWS, you are welcome to apply for a volunteer role for the Summer of 2024 or inquire about specialist / potential contractor positions. College/undergraduate volunteers who want to return are challenged to participate in NHI's Volunteer Outreach and Recruitment Campaign in the Fall semester and the Spring Orientation after the holiday months. College volunteers get hands on management and training experience whether they serve as Head Coaches at the Great Debate, Senior Counselors at the LDZ, or Senior Mentors at the CWS. Undergraduates also make up NHI's annual cohort of interns in the John F. Lopez, Jr. Research and Management Fellowship. Undergraduates who undergo advanced training are invited to participate in specialist roles such as Tournament Directors, Assistant Onsite Directors, Secretaries of State, and Directors of Production just to name a few.  

For more information on the JFL internship, click here to be directed to that information.

For even more information, we have a special USFS x NHI JFL Internship. Please email directly for more information or to schedule an interview. Please include your resume and/or CV. 

Current undergraduate/college members who are interested in participating in the Summer of 2024, please use the registration link below and to the left!

If you are a High School or Undergraduate NHI member and need any assistance, please contact Reilly Garcia at She will be one of your main contacts from NHI headquarters regarding communication, volunteer requirements, program coordination, and more! For immediate responses, please call us at 512-357-6137. 


In NHI's last two decades, alumni (former participants of NHI high school programs; former employees) have become integral to the organization's growth and development. Starting in the early 2000s, NHI alumni started managing and directing Summer programs. Additionally, NHI alumni represent the majority of the regional leadership of the organization's local Alliance chapters. NHI alumni also take part in local outreach and recruitment helping to share their stories and encourage new high schools and families to join. Additionally, throughout the year NHI's home office team as well as local Alliances host small events and projects that benefit from volunteer service with alumni professionals.

If you are a former NHI high school participant who wants to re-engage,

Contact Julio Cotto, LDZ '97, at

or Nicole Nieto, LDZ '86, to

They will communicate with you about your volunteer goals, availability, interests, and can find the best pairing for you.

NHI alumni of all ages are encouraged to register in our private alumni page which relaunched in March of 2023. 

Alumni can visit and start a profile. From there, start connecting with your old NHI friends and colleagues! We are always happy to take calls from alumni at 512-357-6137. Also, follow us on LinkedIn where we have a growing alumni community. 


NHI is a great organization to partner with whether you are an individual or represent an organization. If you have learned about NHI's work and want to volunteer, drop us a quick message at, give us a call at 512-357-6137, or send a message to any of our social media accounts. General volunteers and chaperones are also required to complete the registration form as well as completing the necessary forms required. You can register here. Additionally, the link is provided below on the righthand side. There may be in-person volunteer opportunities especially, if you or your organization are located in Central Texas. Like all nonprofit organizations, there are various projects that can benefit from volunteer involvement. Often civic or religious groups, college organizations, and other clubs in college and high school earn volunteer and service hours working on projects with NHI.

There are additional opportunities to chaperone at the Texas Great Debate and at certain programs where they are required by school or nonprofit partners. Chaperones register through the general volunteer process as well (located below on the righthand side). Throughout the year, at the home office in Maxwell, as well as through our local Alliance chapters in key communities, and more and more, through digital/virtual means, various opportunities to volunteer arise. Contact NHI to learn how you or your group can volunteer with NHI. 

Examples of Non-Summer Program Volunteering:

  • Home office clean up and inventory projects 
  • Parent/counselor chaperone (limited)
  • Phone banking and special calling campaigns
  • Annual research projects 
  • Large mail outs and material distribution
  • Office and administrative support
  • Registration and welcome committees
  • Event set up and tear down  


Register here if you are an interested high school, college, or adult member: Register here if you are an interested general volunteer or chaperone:


Here is a comprehensive list of the 2024 NHI Volunteer Requirements

(Required) Step 1. Complete the 2024 NHI Volunteer Interest Form: 

This is the first required step for 2024 NHI Volunteers. You will NOT be allowed to participate if you are unregistered. Please complete the form on the lefthand side if you are a High School, Undergraduate, or Adult NHI Member. Please complete the form on the righthand side if you are an Organization or General Volunteer (I.e. Chaperones). This is where you will provide your general information, program interest, past NHI history, etc. and allows us (NHI HQ) to track your requirements in an easy / quick manner.

The links to this requirement are posted above or choose here: 2024 Registration (HS, Undergrad, or Adult) / 2024 Registration (Organization / Chaperone).

Thursday, February 15th - (Volunteer Registration DUE). All Volunteers that are wanting to staff a 2024 program must be registered by this date in order to be considered for our 2024 placements. 

Thursday, May 16th - (Parent and School Chaperones Registration DUE). All parent and school chaperones must be registered by this date. Chaperones are required to complete the Kantola, Stay Safe, Code of Conduct & Ethics courses by Tuesday, June 4th, 2024. 

(Not a Requirement) Step 2. Join our 2024 NHI Volunteer Google Classroom:

The link / invitation code will be sent upon your completion of the registration form above. Our Google Classroom serves as a resource database for NHI Volunteers to be able to easily and quickly access NHI materials. NHI Volunteers are additionally able to complete their requirements all in one place while also having opportunities to participate in various discussions and activities. If you ever lose your code, please email!

(Required) Step 3. Crossovers:

If you are a High School Senior or older, please move onto step 4. If you are a current High School Sophomore or Junior, you must crossover to your next NHI program. If you participated in either the 4-day Texas Great Debate or a 6-day Great Debate in 2023, you must crossover to any of the LDZs in Summer 2024. You will NOT be able to volunteer at a Great Debate unless you have crossed over. If you participated in an LDZ this Summer in 2023, you must crossover to any of the CWS programs in Summer 2024. You will NOT be able to volunteer at an LDZ unless you have crossed over. NHI requires High School Sophomores and Juniors to crossover to their next program as it establishes experience and furthers the involvement of all students.

You can locate crossover information here: NHI 2024 Leadership Programs or on specific program pages.

(Required) Step 4. Recruitment: 

If you are an Undergraduate Member or older, please move onto step 5. If you are a current High School Member (Sophomores, Juniors, and Seniors), you must recruit at LEAST 5 new individuals to any of the 2024 NHI programs. Recruitment can be done in various ways, i.e. hosting a meeting at your school or in your community, making calls to prospective students that have expressed interest in an NHI program, hosting Zoom meetings, etc. NHI Volunteers can additionally request a list of calls and/or marketing materials such as brochures, info. cards, etc. NHI HQ is also planning virtual and in-person recruitment meetings for the next few months to help engage and inspire students, who may need assistance.

(Required) 5. Complete the 2023-2024 Volunteer Agreement and Release of Liability Form:

This form must be completed by ALL confirmed volunteers for Summer 2024 as well as those that are interested in participating in the Fall, Winter, and Spring seasons.

 - For those that are 18+, please complete the form here: 2024 Volunteer Agreement (18+).

 - If you are a MINOR, please complete the form here: 2024 Volunteer Agreement (MINORS).

(Required) 6. Complete the following courses, NHI Stay Safe/NHI Code of Conduct and Ethics and NHI Fundamentals:

These courses will be available through the 2024 NHI Volunteer Google Classroom under "NHI Requirements". These courses are required in order to participate in Summer 2024 as they discuss NHI's core values and rules for behavior / conduct. As an NHI Volunteer, you are expected to represent NHI well which means keeping yourself and others accountable as Leaders within your communities. The 2 courses are located on our 2024 Volunteer Google Classroom. 

(Required for 18+) 7. Complete the Sexual Harassment Prevention Course: 

This is a requirement for those that are confirmed as a 2024 NHI Volunteer / have been officially placed at a program. Additionally, this course is required for ALL Volunteers that are 18+ or will be turning 18 by December 31st, 2024. Some Universities may require that 18 and younger complete this course as well. We will update you if this is applicable. You also must complete this course annually, so if you have recently completed this form in Summer 2023, you will be expected to complete it again before the Summer of 2024. We will be releasing information to confirmed Volunteers in May - June of 2024. 

(Required) 8. Submitting the $40 Volunteer Fee:

This is a requirement for those that are confirmed as a 2024 NHI Volunteer / have been officially placed at a program. This will be released in early May 2024.* Quick note that if you have still not paid your 2023 Volunteer Fee, you will either need to complete the payment for 2023 as well as 2024 OR you will NOT be able to participate in 2024. Please read our FAQ section for those that are EXEMPT from this requirement. 

(Required) 8. Submitting your 2024 Travel Form: 

This is a requirement for those that are confirmed as a 2024 NHI Volunteer / have been officially placed at a program. Please review our 2024 NHI Volunteer Travel Guide for more information regarding airports, university locations, and Day 0/Day 00. Please keep in mind that NHI will not be purchasing flights for staff in 2024. Volunteers must obtain their transportation plans in time before the program. 

(Not a Requirement) 9. 2024 NHI Discord:

We are excited to announce that our 2024 NHI Volunteer Discord has been released to those that are registered to Volunteer this year! Please watch the video guide upon entering and read all of the rules and regulations. Our Discord server is moderated by NHI HQ members, which have the right to remove anyone who repetitively disregards the guidelines.

*Scheduling and release dates are subject to change throughout the year. Please be patient as we continue to update our 2024 content and information.


This FAQ section is a conglomerate of questions made by various age ranges and communities which have been answered by NHI HQ Members!

This is to serve as a quick information resource for ALL volunteers. If there are any questions that should be added, please let us know.

Information here is subject to change, and is continuously being updated throughout the year.

  • "What forms do I need to have completed?"
If you are a HIGH SCHOOL SENIOR or OLDER, you will complete the Volunteer Agreement Form. If you are a HS sophomore/junior, have crossed over to your next program, and completed the Parent Release - that can count as your VAF. Some universities require additional forms to complete so keep an eye out in case you need to do that. You will also be filling out a travel form as well, closer to the program.
  • "I am a participant as well as a volunteer, do I need to complete both forms?"

No, if you are attending and LDZ or CWS, you can technically just complete the PR Form as the information can be used from both forms. No need to do additional work.

  • "I don't have enough recruits, what do I do?"

You can earn credit by hosting meetings, making calls to potential NHI Applicants, and nominating students. Vols need to let us know if they want a list of students to follow up with. Check announcements on our Google Classroom for any opportunities or invitations to meetings. 

  • "What if I can not afford to crossover because I was previously sponsored by a school, community, etc.?"

Please remember that any scholarships are given AFTER you've applied to a program. A quick and easy way to talk about this is by emailing where they can guide you throughout this process. There are also different ways for paying for your program such as gaining donations, fundraising, the 20 for $20 plan, etc. Every school is different but we aim to see everyone succeed and at a program this summer!

  • "I am a senior and cannot recruit due to being so busy, what can I do?"

We understand where you're coming from - being a HS senior is a LOT of work and takes up a lot of your time. We offer call campaigns throughout the recruitment season in which you can call prospects who've attended NHI presentations earlier in the semester. Every 3 calls = 1 recruit credit so, calling 15 prospects could earn you 5 credits, which is the minimum amount to complete this requirement. They also range from 9th graders who would attend a GD, 10th graders who would attend an LDZ, and 11th graders who would attend either an LDZ or CWS. If you'd like to participate, please email us as soon as you can because the spots could be filled quickly upon release.

  • "I am currently an undergrad...what am I supposed to be doing before March?"

If you are an undergraduate volunteer member or alumni, you must communicate with us asap. Granted, there aren't as many continuous requirements for you all to be working on as there are for high school members; so it could seem as though you aren't expected to do anything right now. If you are an undergrad. that would like to staff a specific program/role - you need to message us at your earliest convenience, as we are going to place key staff members early in 2024. We additionally offer JFL Internships (in-person and remote) specifically for our undergrad. Volunteers. 

  • "How do I know if I'm going to the program / am confirmed / drop-proof?

You will be receiving bi-weekly status updates starting in October 2023. Once you have completed all of the necessary requirements and have been reviewed by NHI HQ, you will receive an acceptance letter to the program you're most interested in. Once YOU give us a "100% YES, I will be attending this program as this role", you will then receive a clear confirmation of your program/role placement. Do not buy tickets until you've directly spoken with an HQ staff member (so, either Reilly Garcia, Julio Cotto, or Nicole Nieto!) Also, please relay all information to (CC any of our NHI HQ members, your regional PA, or forward it) so I can make sure that it's been entered into our system.

  • "How do I know if I am exempt from the $40 Volunteer Fee?"

Those that are exempt from this fee are: Education Directors, Assistant Education Directors, Secretaries of States, Onsite Directors, Assistant Onsite Directors if not also an SC, Parent Chaperones, School Chaperones, NHI HQ Staff Members, JFL Interns, Stay Safe Officers, and New Mexico Volunteers. You are required to submit this fee if you are a: JFL, Junior Counselor, Senior Counselor, Senior Mentor, Head Coach, Umpire, Production, Assistant Secretary of State, Assistant Onsite Director if also an SC. 

  • "When should I be purchasing my flight ticket?"

As soon as you have been 100% confirmed as attending the program as a volunteer staff member, you need to be getting your ticket. The later you wait, the more expensive the flight will be, which we all want to avoid. If you are a contracted individual, you need to be speaking with HQ staff members, Julio Cotto, Nicole Nieto, or Celeste Polanco (or another HQ member if decided) directly, regarding this information. Everyone's plans are different but we are here to help you figure it all out! Our NHI Travel Guide for Volunteers is additionally posted above.

  • "What days/times do I need to be on campus/at the program?"

ALL Volunteers are expected to be at the program on DAY 0! EXAMPLE: If you are a JC for the Texas LDZ that's from July 16-23rd, you must be there on July 15th. Older staff arrive 2 days earlier on Day 00. You must take this into account when planning your travels. It is also stated within the Volunteer Agreement that you are on campus, at the program, the entire duration. You may not leave to go get food on your own, leave to go hang out with friends during the program, or leave early (unless you've specifically discussed something with your ED and OD only). This also means that you are there fully on the first day (Day 00 or 0) and fully on the last day of the program. Volunteers stay on campus until ALL students have left the program, of course unless you've directly discussed this with your ED or OD in advance. 

  • "How do I maintain consistent communication?"

Contacting us personally is your best mode of communication. My email is and I receive automatic notifications for our Google Classroom as well. The best people to contact in the case that you cannot reach Reilly are Julio Cotto (Head of Volunteerism) at, or Brian Cruz (NHI Business Office) at For quick and direct communication, call us at 512-357-6137. There is also our Discord server, where you can privately ask an NHI HQ member any of your questions. 

  • "How can I participate in a recruitment opportunity?"

Please message us directly if you are wanting to participate in the call campaign opportunity that can earn you recruitment credit. You can also reach out to family members that have 9th-11th graders, your friends, your friend's siblings. Lastly, holding presentations either at your school or within your community is a great way to gain recruits. Feel free to ask us for good contacts who may be able to help you within your own community such as those in Las Vegas, California, the NE, MW, MX, the DR, Texas regions, etc.

  • "How can I track my progress as a volunteer?"

The easiest and quickest way to track your progress as a volunteer by reviewing your bi-weekly status updates (these are emailed around the 1st and 15th of every month). The information is drawn directly from our internal system so it's possible there could be a mistake at times, such as an incorrect recruit # or that you haven't crossed over when you actually have. We have found that the usual causes of any incorrect information are TYPICALLY from an incorrect User ID # being listed, prospects not listing their recruiter's name, or a recruiter's user ID wasn't added (which I go back in and add for you for your benefit). If you are not receiving updates you need to let us know ASAP.

  • "Do we need to pay for housing, meals, and travel on our own?"

NHI Volunteers do NOT need to pay for housing or meals. Instead, they pay the $40 fee that feeds directly into these costs only. NHI will cover the cost of your dorm room as well as your 3 meals per day during the program at the university. NHI does NOT COVER your flight ticket, travel to and from the airport, or anything additional that you may want such as snacks, drinks, souvenirs, etc. Our best advice is to bring some extra $ with you so that way if you need anything, you're able to get it. Also, keep in mind that some programs do provide things such as transportation to/from the airport so please make sure you are in constant communication with your ED's, OD's, and TD's.

  • "How can I help HQ?"

If you're interested in helping us out, please sign up for a call campaign! As we roll through recruitment season, it is crucial that we have an all hands on deck situation. So, by helping HQ, you will also receive the credits necessary for staffing!

  • "What if I can't volunteer this summer because I am too busy / have other commitments?"

You need to let NHIHQ know of this as quickly as possible so we can make the note that you've dropped for this summer. You can still of course volunteer locally during the school year or even next summer if you decide to jump back in - just let us know what's going on so we can try to assist if needed.

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+1 (512) 357-6137

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