NHI provides student opportunities

Courtesy of Lidia Mena
Participants learn to overcome the fear of public speaking at NHI

Andrea Morales, Lidia Mena, Elisabet Mena, and Oscar Reyes

          One of the most frequently asked questions National Hispanic Institute club gets is “What is NHI?” NHI is a leadership program that gives college bound students the tools to become leaders in their community.

         “At first I was interested in NHI because I knew it was a leadership program for minorities, ”senior Esmeralda Serna, who is a part of NHI, said. “After attending several programs, the people at NHI became a family that encouraged each other to pursue something greater than ourselves.”

         98% of the students who attend NHI go to college and 67% of them pursue an education higher than a four year college degree. NHI targets well-rounded students with a minimum GPA 3.0 for freshman, and 3.2 GPA for juniors and seniors.

         “Being part of NHI has transformed my life,” junior Andrea Morales said. “Before, I did not know how much my voice and ideas were valuable until I joined NHI. I found a family. ”

        Across the country there are a lot of alumni that might be recognized including, Nicholas Gonzalez from the Good Doctor and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez who ran for Congress 2018 and is a Representative.

        “We’ve built a tradition with NHI,” Alonso Ramirez, one of the sponsors of NHI club said. “Students like Karla Martinez, who came back after attending U of Chicago, have demonstrated the connections formed after students attend summer leadership programs from NHI. NHI, students are able to become leaders and learn to give back to the school. NHI provides leadership training that is much needed, and is proven to be a valuable experience for students.”

         Anyone is welcome to join NHI. Participants don’t necessarily have to be Latino or Hispanic to be part of the club. They don’t need to be sure whether or not they are going to attend college. Meetings are held every 3 weeks with alternating periods.

         The National Hispanic Institute consists of three programs. The Great Debate is for students entering their sophomore year. Augustana College, Cabrini University, University of Texas at Austin, and Schreiner University host GD. The Lorenzo De Zavala Youth Legislative session is for students entering their junior year. Universities that host LDZ include St. Francis University, Colorado State University, University of Rochester, and University of San Diego. The third program, Collegiate World Series is for students entering their senior year. Saint Leo University and University of North Texas host CWS. After completing all three programs, NHI participants graduate from NHI.

         Students have the opportunity to travel around the country and even the world. They also have the opportunity to network with 75 different colleges across the United States. Participants get the chance to interact and create contacts with youth from around the globe all on one campus. After creating strong, sturdy, lifelong bonds with these people, they will even get to see them again in different settings and different circumstances. Circumstances that are meant to push participants to be a voice in the Latino community.

          Students with questions or concerns can contact Ramirez ([email protected]) in the Grey Pod or Miriam Castro ([email protected]) in the Scarlet Pod.