NHI partners with St. Mary’s to bring Texas LDZ to San Antonio
The National Hispanic Institute is proud to announce it is partnering with St. Mary’s University on its longest-running leadership program for top-performing Latino high school students. The Texas Lorenzo de Zavala Youth Legislative Session (better known to alumni and supporters as the Texas LDZ) will be hosted at St. Mary’s from July 15-22, 2018 for the first time ever.
NHI, which began in 1979 with a vision of develop leaders for the growing Latino community in the United States, and has inspired more than 90,000 high schools students through its programs since then, is moving its flagship program from Austin to San Antonio after a long history of being in Texas’s capital city.
The Texas LDZ was first hosted in Austin in 1982, and by the next year, it expanded from its initial two-day format to an eight-day format it has kept to the present day. In the program, students create their own political parties, run for offices, form a body of government complete with a governor, a legislature, and a Supreme Court, and then debate and attempt to pass legislation tackling issues germane to the national and global Latino community.
The move to San Antonio reflects, in part, a recognition of the city’s long history of producing Latino leaders, and NHI’s enthusiasm to expand its programming in San Antonio.
“There’s an impressive legacy of leadership in San Antonio, which compliments the city’s rich history and its growth as the nation’s largest majority-Latino city,” said NHI president and founder Ernesto Nieto. “From the legendary Congressman Henry B. Gonzalez, to former Mayor and HUD Secretary Henry Cisneros, State Senators Joe Bernal and Leticia Van de Putte, and of course, Congressman Joaquin Castro and his accomplished brother Julian, San Antonio has produced leaders of which the entire Latino community can be proud.”
“We know that St. Mary’s, with the values it espouses and the education it offers, has been instrumental in building San Antonio into the city it is today,” Nieto added. “We’re excited to partner with St. Mary’s on hosting this important program which, over the years, has developed leaders making an impact throughout Texas, around the nation, and increasingly, throughout the hemisphere.”
“The St. Mary’s University community is thrilled to be able to further deepen and develop our relationship with the National Hispanic Institute by hosting one of its premier programs this summer,” said Rosalind Alderman, Ph.D., St. Mary’s University Vice Provost for Enrollment Management. “As an institution, we are looking forward to not simply hosting a summer program, but rather moving forward as a partner with NHI to serve our shared community in helping to educate informed leaders and citizens of the future.”
In addition to the LDZ program, which is geared toward incoming high school juniors, NHI’s leadership education programming includes the Great Debate series for incoming high school sophomores, and the Collegiate World Series program for incoming high school seniors. Though the Texas LDZ program has traditionally attracted students primarily hailing from Texas, it has also attracted students from across the United States, as well as Mexico and Panama.
Though NHI’s programs are designed to inspire leadership and community service for alumni well beyond college, students participating in NHI programs have an impressive track record in college, with 98 percent of NHI alumni attending college, and 90 percent graduating from college within five years of first enrolling.
Students who want to join the inaugural Texas LDZ class at St. Mary’s can start the application process by clicking this link.