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JUNE 16 - 23, 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.”

Through the years, NHI has cultivated relations with a significant number of universities, mostly private, as reference possibilities when selecting their preferences. As members of NHI’s College Register, these institutions are located throughout the U.S. and usually attend NHI college fairs and admission workshops that give them one-on-one communication with NHI students.

High School students from urban areas will enjoy the natural setting of the Colorado LDZ and its surrounding environment. Few other program sites offer the hospitality that the university staff at CSU does. In fact, the Colorado LDZ will celebrate its 34rd anniversary in the Summer of 2024. One of CSU’s top summer priorities includes a strategic goal of establishing a statewide leadership cohort that will concentrate on encouraging larger numbers of top Colorado students to participate and develop themselves at CSU.

The only state-supported leadership program for NHI, Colorado State University remains committed to diversity and views the LDZ as an effective means of attracting top students to its campus. In fact, the university features NHI partner scholarships students are eligible for. Its comprehensive makeup of majors and affordable tuition makes it particularly attractive to out-of-state students. LDZ delegates receive no better hospitality than the special attention Colorado State University staff gives to the program. We look forward to seeing you at Colorado!

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 $1,050 (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 Colorado State University

    CSU is located in Fort Collins, a midsize city at the base of the Rocky Mountains, less than an hour north of Denver. Colorado State, also known as CSU, offers more than 150 degrees in eight colleges, with graduate programs in the schools of business, engineering and education and the renowned College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences. CSU is considered one of the leading research universities, and faculty and students work together to explore fields such as atmospheric science, infectious diseases, clean energy technologies and environmental science.

    Outside the classroom and research lab, students can get involved with the more than 350 campus organizations, including about 35 fraternities and sororities. Student athletes can find sports at the recreational, club and varsity level, with the CSU mascot and colors reflecting the school's past. CSU began as an agricultural school, so the sports teams were called the Aggies and their colors were green and gold to represent farming. The school held onto the colors, but the more than 15 varsity sports teams are now called the Rams. They compete in the NCAA Division I Mountain West Conference.

    About Fort Collins, Colorado, USA

    "Situated at the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, 60 miles north of Denver International airport, Fort Collins is home to fabulous recreational opportunities, diverse cultural attractions, a vibrant nightlife scene and family fun. Experience world-class whitewater rafting on the nationally designated “Wild and Scenic” Cache La Poudre River (the best whitewater rafting near Rocky Mountain National Park). Taste award-winning beers at one of 20 (and counting) Or, explore the fanciful creatures at the Swetsville Zoo with your family. Fort Collins prides itself on the plethora of restaurants and outdoor activities a picturesque downtown and of course, our beer. Fort Collins is always full of things to do, no matter the season. Explore the links above to find what you need, or take a look at our suggestions for things to see and do!"(From

    The Colorado LDZ was originally established as a project of university admissions under the leadership of former Vice President for Enrollment Mary Ontiveros. The program transitioned to the Access Center in 2009 when Mary became Vice President for Diversity. Mary was honored in 2008 with NHI’s Hall of Fame award for long-lasting impact on the work of the institute and she annually visits the program and engages the students. By utilizing effective practices, the Access Center provides quality services to communities, individuals and institutions resulting in student success and exemplary programs guided by an ethic of community and project accountability.


    2024 Colorado LDZ

    june 16-23, 2024

    Colorado State University

    Fort Collins, Colorado


    Selective admissions policies are now in place until programs reach full capacity.

    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. 


    National Hispanic Institute

    P.O. Box 220
    Maxwell, Texas 78656

    +1 (512) 357-6137

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    Hours of Operations:

    M-F, 8:30am - 12:00pm; 1:30pm - 5:30pm CDT