Houston ISD makes two-year, $100k commitment to NHI
The National Hispanic Institute is pleased to announced that the Houston Independent School District has made a $100,000 commitment to NHI — the largest of any single school district in NHI’s history — to send students to NHI summer programs in 2016 and 2017.
The award will provide 100 students with $400 scholarships in both 2016 and 2017 toward summer program participation, while an additional $10,000 per year will be earmarked toward helping to support students who face the most challenging of economic circumstances.
“This partnership is spearheaded by HISD school board member, Manuel Rodriguez, who has supported the efforts dating back to 2003,” said Nicole Sada, NHI’s executive vice president. “He has been a stalwart proponent of this effort, ensuring that the NHI programs are accessible to students who might not otherwise participate due to finances.”
“I have seen so many students from my community benefit, and I’m delighted to play a role in making a difference in their futures,” said Rodriguez.
Houston ISD students’ participation in NHI’s three summer leadership conferences dates as far back as 1983. The three programs are the Great Debate (which helps students develop public speaking and debating skills), the Lorenzo de Zavala Youth Legislative Session (which focuses on the public policy making process), and the Collegiate World Series (which focuses on the college admission process and how to practice leadership and civic engagement as young adults). All three programs share an emphasis on participating in a global Latino community extended beyond any one nation’s borders, and an asset-based view (“what we have to offer”) rather than a deficit-based view (“what problems need to be addressed”) of Latinos.
HISD has provided tuition assistance to eligible students through both high school campuses and district funds for a number of years to help ensure their participation.
“Houston Independent School District (HISD) long ago saw the value of developing the leadership of their top students,” said Julio Cotto, NHI Vice President of Business Administration. “They understood that providing their students with tools to help them navigate systems, express their ideas and opinions, and access to a global network of forward thinking, creative youngsters would deliver dividends in the classroom and along their path to college. HISD leaders did not want money to be a hurdle and instead wanted to be an equal investor. With the HISD commitment, the NHI leadership experience is within the reach of any family in the district.”
NHI is looking to partner with additional corporate and individual donors throughout the entire Gulf Coast region to help engage and involve more students in NHI programs in 2016 and beyond.