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JULY 7 - 14, 2024


“Intense. Mind-blowing. Amazing people. Unforgettable. Life-changing. Brain fry. A moment of real growth. Nothing like it. My world of opportunities just expanded.”

For the third year in a row, the American Lorenzo de Zavala Youth Legislative Session (LDZ) will take place at St. Mary's College of Maryland, the National Public Honors College. Unlike its sister LDZ programs, the American LDZ uses a federal system where a President and Vice President are elected. Additionally, due to the proximity to the nation's capital, attendees to this site have the unique opportunity to have a "DC Experience" midweek. In 2023, students toured historic sites, several delegates met their respective members of Congress, and many other members were made near the steps of the Capitol. Located on the East Coast, expect to connect with an Eastern delegation as well as students from the Americas, like Panama, the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, and Mexico, are in attendance. A truly global delegation comes together at the American LDZ near picturesque waters and historic grounds.

What is the cost of the LDZ?

Tuition for the LDZ covers eight days on a college in dorms, a full meal plan, private access to training areas, a college day exclusively for program participants, a staff-student ratio of one adult to every fifteen students, supplies and materials, a commemorative program T-Shirt, a certificate of participation, and a highly-motivating curriculum.

The LDZ tuition is $1,120 (for American LDZ) USD plus a $25.00 application fee & a $150.00 non-refundable deposit. Upon official acceptance to the program, NHI requires this deposit to secure your spot. Families manage tuition in various ways from setting up an approved payment plan, seeking out sponsors, easy online fundraising, or even qualify for special select community grants. NHI makes it a point to work with each family on their specific plans for tuition.

Students who complete the LDZ will be granted all the rights, privileges, and honors of NHI membership, so long as they remain in good standing and will hence be invited to future opportunities for personal development as well as volunteerism and faculty development within the organization.

What does the payment schedule look like?

NHI will provide details about the payment schedule upon acceptance into the program. NHI is committed to flexibility - that is, payment plans and fundraising tools are available to all families who request them.


    About St. Mary's College of Maryland

    As The National Public Honors College, St. Mary’s College of Maryland offers an undergraduate liberal arts education and small-college experience like those found at exceptional private colleges. St. Mary’s College shares the hallmarks of private institutions: an outstanding faculty, talented students, high academic standards, a challenging curriculum, small classes, a sense of community, and a spirit of intellectual inquiry. But as a state institution of higher education, St. Mary’s College is also committed to the ideals of affordability, accessibility, and diversity. By combining these virtues of public and private education, St. Mary’s College provides a unique alternative for students and their families.

    St. Mary’s College of Maryland is named for the place it marks: the 17th-century capital of Maryland. The spectacular waterfront setting is in the heart of the Chesapeake Bay region. The campus is 75 miles southeast of Washington, D.C. and 97 miles south of Baltimore. (from

    About St. Mary's & Maryland 

    Historic St. Mary's City is one of the premier historic sites in America, a museum of living history and archaeology telling diverse stories on the site of Maryland’s first capital in beautiful, tidewater Southern Maryland. (from

    St. Mary’s College’s 360-acre campus is nestled between stands of loblolly pine and the oyster beds of the Chesapeake Bay.

    Our waterfront campus boasts spectacular sunrises and sunsets and endless opportunities for both quiet reflection and outdoor adventure.

    The natural beauty of the campus, with secret gardens and quiet nooks throughout, encourages peaceful study and stillness. And the natural bounty of our location means there’s always something to do–from hiking the local forests to biking through the farm fields to paddle-boarding in the St. Mary’s River. Or birdwatching: St. Mary’s College was the first college in Maryland to be designated an Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary.

    St. Mary’s College’s academic, residential and administrative buildings are designed in the tidewater architectural style. The large, sheltered porches take advantage of the low-lying warmth of the lower Atlantic coast’s subtropical climate –and provide a communal spot for students enjoying a breezy summer night. (from



    july 7 - 14, 2024

    St. Mary's College of Maryland

    St. Mary's City, Maryland


    After successfully completing the program, LDZers often reflect on the experience as a space where they felt free to express themselves, their ideas, and honed their skills. They felt culturally embraced, understood, and valued. At the LDZ, they began to see themselves as playing a leadership role wherever life would take them, whether at home, in school, in a career, or in service to others. Most of all, they felt special in knowing that leadership is a life-long calling in which they will have a special role to play with NHI.


    The LDZ was started in 1982 in Austin, Texas, as two-day experience at the Capitol. In 1983 the program expanded to work with a statewide audience and expanded to eight days. By 1990 the program was operating in three states and today is housed at six different locations. Despite thematic shifts and content adjustments, LDZ continues to engage students in a learning maze designed for the rigors of leading large organizations. The program, Lorenzo de Zavala Youth Legislative Session, is named after the first provisional Vice President of the Republic of Texas and a leader for democracy and liberty in both Mexico and the United States. However, its name is also an homage to De Zavala Park in Houston where NHI's founder and president Ernesto Nieto watched and learned from his parents who were community park directors. Values, lessons, and the overall spirit of community life at De Zavala Park back then inspired the environment and culture of the LDZ summer experience. 


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