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Great Debate, NHI Programs

NHI and Saint Francis University partner on Northeast Great Debate

nhi saint francis university partnership for 2022 northeast great debate program
Posted: October 1, 2021 at 2:59 pm   /   by   /   comments (0)

The National Hispanic Institute is happy to announce a new partnership with Saint Francis University — one of the oldest Catholic universities in the United States — for its upcoming 2022 Northeast Great Debate program. 

The Northeast Great Debate is one of the longest-running programs that NHI, which specializes in leadership education programs for top-performing Latino/a/x high school students, provides for rising sophomores. 

The non-profit organization, founded in 1979, strives to develop Latino/a/x leaders for the growing global Latino/a/x community, forwarding concepts like community equity building and community social entrepreneurship that enable leaders to encourage self-sufficiency, growth, and innovation. More than 100,000 alumni have graduated from NHI programs to take on myriad leadership roles, including members of Congress, local executives, state legislators, and business and professional leaders in an array of sectors. 

The Great Debate program is part of a three-year curriculum that helps students develop a range of leadership skills, starting with the Great Debate’s emphasis on public speaking and teamwork. NHI students go on to graduate from the Great Debate to participate in the Lorenzo de Zavala Youth Legislative Session, which emphasizes public policy development and networking, and the Collegiate World Series, which combines team-based competition designed around the college application process with an introduction to inquiry-based learning. 

The Northeast Great Debate has traditionally served students from New York City, Philadelphia, and other East Coast cities and regions where NHI has a presence. It’s also been a popular Great Debate destination for students from Puerto Rico — a vital contributor to the U.S. Latino experience — as well as Mexico, Panamá, and the Dominican Republic reflecting NHI’s ongoing work in cultivating global leadership. 

“NHI is proud to have Saint Francis University onboard as one of our host institutions for next year,” said Nicole Nieto, Executive Vice President for NHI. “We were impressed with Saint Francis University’s traditions and values, and it’s a welcomed addition to our group of host universities who will help us move forward in our plan to resume our live, immersive, on-campus experiences in 2022.” 

“We’re excited to partner with the National Hispanic Institute in bringing the 2022 Northeast Great Debate to our campus,” said Dr. Bobby Anderson, Associate Dean of Admissions at Saint Francis University. “The faith, generosity, respect, discovery and joy that is in our institution’s DNA are all similarly infused in NHI’s fundamental values, and we’re looking forward to the opportunity to host talented high school students with the very abilities and qualities we look for in our undergraduate students.” 

While NHI developed digital versions of all three of its programs out of necessity during the pandemic, next year’s NHI-Saint Francis University partnership for the Northeast Great Debate will be one of seven programs for rising sophomores that NHI will run in 2022. A digital version of the program, the GDx, will be offered along with five other live, on-campus Great Debates using the six-day approach — where students are drafted onto teams — and the four-day Texas Great Debate featuring teams created in the spring to represent many of the state’s largest cities and regions. 

For more information on the Great Debate or to register, please visit the Great Debate page on the NHI website. For more information about Saint Francis University, please visit its website at

The Great Debate program is sponsored in part by State Farm.

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