To create experiences that engage achieving high school and college-age youth in community leadership roles that advance our quality of life.
Our nation benefits from having larger access to an increasingly diverse population of Americans. Over the next 20 to 25 years, the Latino community in the U.S. will increase to where one in three Americans are Latino.
The National Hispanic Institute was founded on the premise and belief that the early introduction of skill-based and competency-based leadership development for high school students (ages 14 to 17) will yield larger numbers of college-bound youth, increased representation in the nation's professional sectors, and Latinos who are more skilled and educated involvement at civic levels.
NHI is proud that, of the thousands of youth who have attended its leadership programs over the years, 98% enroll in college, 90% complete their undergraduate studies within five years and as many as 67% continue into post-graduate studies.
They represent different Latino nationalities, reside across the United States and throughout the Americas. They are involved in different business and professional endeavors, and some are public officials at the school board, city, county, and state levels — with two members of Congress among its ranks.
These outcomes were the intentions of the founders, who continue their journey in the organization 43 years later. NHI remains self-sustaining as a 501(c)(3) non-profit entity. Its board, staff, and hundreds of annual volunteers are alumni, with large numbers having served in those roles for over 20 years. NHI also enjoys close cooperative relations with hundreds of high schools; more than 60 colleges and universities are currently members of NHI College Registers, including a number of host schools.
By the early 1990s, NHI determined the global Latino community needed a more modern model for community engagement than the civil rights movement of the 1960s and 1970s. The organization thereby focused on community equity building, and today, CEB guides the organization in its work. CEB is NHI’s preferred approach to strengthening the Latino community's organizational building, management requirements, and sustainable engagement.
THE VALUE AND BENEFITS OF STUDENT MEMBERSHIP
By joining NHI, whether as high school freshmen, sophomores, or juniors, students may access the organization's networks of colleges and universities, alumni, training faculty, and the its support systems. Freshmen attend leadership projects that focus on their communication skills. Sophomores further their knowledge of organizational concepts, and juniors are introduced to inquiry-based learning as effective means of personal and professional life planning. All NHI students may interact with NHI training faculty during the school year as well as during the summer sessions to improve their skill sets in organizational planning and management.
Enrollment in NHI youth leadership training is competitive, generally limited to cohorts of 150 to 200 per program. In 2024, freshmen must maintain at least a 3.0 grade point average, enrolled in a college-bound high school graduation plan. Sophomore and junior applicants must have at least a 3.2 gpa and similar college enrollment intentions. Applications for admission must be authorized by parent signatures that is also accompanied by a deposit. Tuition payment plans may involve family, school, and private sponsorship support, provided that payment arrangements and deadlines are approved by the NHI business office and authorizing parents.
NHI'S STUDENT TRAINING METHODS
All NHI student training programs encourage high levels of peer social interaction, group engagement in goal attainment, and numerous opportunities for personal skill development. Awards are peer driven and reflect particular levels of achievement as demonstrated by individual performance, not popularity.
NHI's CHIEF AIMS
NHI perceives its students as valuable assets, never as minorities or persons who need special assistance. Beyond NHI aiming for students to develop skill sets and competency goals in its leadership programs, the organization looks for students to generate bold and innovating ideas, to question conventional thinking, and to propose new creative possibilities for communities seeking to grow and develop.
NEW SOCIAL LENSES
NHI is also guided by an investor's view of its work in developing Latino community leaders.Through its investment mindset, people are viewed as representing real value to society and having a social role and purpose to achieve. People are not characterized as “obstacles to overcome” or using the "at-risk" depiction that some have customarily used.
THE APPLICATION AND ENROLLMENT PROCESS
Key areas of students full enrolling in NHI programs include the initial online application and uploading of report cards, followed up by parental authorization, student health/medical verifications, and completion of payments. Once students complete this, we ask for their travel plans to and from the programs, followed by issuing out the first round of curriculum