NATIONAL HISPANIC INSTITUTE
LORENZO DE ZAVALA
YOUTH LEGISLATIVE SESSION
CENTRAL TEXAS, USA
Imagine convening 200 or more talented, ambitious, and aspiring students from throughout Texas. Instantaneously, the chatter, voices, and laughter create a special environment. Soon, you realize this place is different. People are sincerely interested in you. They seek out your opinions, encourage you to take the lead and soon, you are swept up in a role of significance. People recognize and applaud you because you are a leader. This is the historic Texas LDZ!
LDZ was established in 1982 as a pilot-program. In 1983, the Texas LDZ was launched in Austin as NHI's first statewide, 8-day long session. Since then, the LDZ has expanded beyond the Lone Star State but the history of this transformational, life changing experience started in Texas.
In an 8-day residential experience, students follow NHI’s signature community equity building approach to form communities, develop constituencies and craft strategies to leverage strength and capacity. LDZ prompts personal transformation whereby a student feels competent, in control of their life direction, and valued in the eyes of others. Delegates become inspired and committed to engage in adding equity and worth to their community. As they say, "everything is bigger in Texas." The Texas LDZ is the largest and oldest NHI program celebrating a legacy that spans four decades.
Texas LDZ faculty and staff are alumni of the program as well and come from universities and cities across the Americas. Meet top college students from some of the state's best institutions like UT, A&M, and Baylor but also connect with Texas alumni who study out of state and abroad. The Texas LDZ shares a unique flavor being led by NHI alumni and Texas LDZ alumni, NHI Board Chair Michelle Saenz-Rodriguez, Esq., '83, and George Rodriguez, Esq., '84. They are often joined by their children, Bella, GD '19, and George Nicolas, GD '13, LDZ '15, CWS '15.
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.
IF ITS MEANT TO BE... IT'S UP TO ME.
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.
HISTORY OF THE LDZ
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.
ARCHIVED LDZ SLIDESHOWS AND TESTIMONIALS