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It was an exciting summer for CHCI as we hosted our eighth R2L® NextGen class, comprised of not one but two cohorts of students, June 24 – 29 and July 14 – 20, 2018. A record 100 high school students from 13 different regions, including Puerto Rico, were selected to participate in the highly competitive program and developed a deeper understanding of their role as engaged citizens. Thanks to our wonderful sponsors, students received round-trip travel, lodging, meals, training, and a $150 gift card for professional clothing.

During both weeks of the program, students met prominent leaders and engaged in various workshops to learn more about public policy issues impacting the Latino community. In addition to participating in debates, playing the roles of Congressman and Lobbyists in a Mock Congress, and touring historic sites, students were addressed by key leaders from CADCA, The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, and FWD.US.  CHCI also partnered with iCivics to bring a unique gaming experience as students took on the role of a constitutional lawyer in the iCivics game, “Do I Have A Right?”. Furthermore, students received the opportunity to gather alongside Ford Engineers who facilitated an egg car crash test and shared information about STEAM careers.

Workshops on crafting a strong personal statement and creating a resume for college applications were also offered, helping prepare students for the next step in their educational careers.

Through these activities, students were exposed to an array of industries and gained the necessary skills to continue their journey as catalysts of change in their communities.

Torres-Kristie-1 “Every ounce of knowledge we received made me a better person. The life lessons this program taught me will stay with me forever and will be reflected in everything I do from now on. My economic level won’t stop me from being the leader I know I can be. I walk away from this program with the superpowers of determination and education. R2LNext Gen helped me obtain these powers.”

Kristie Montero
Colegio Congegacion Mita
Canovanas, Puerto Rico

The highlight of each week was having our participants spend the day on Capitol Hill, beginning with a Congressional Breakfast that included visits from members of Congress, including CHCI Chair Rep. Joaquin Castro (TX-20), Rep. Grace Napolitano (CA-32), Norma Torres (CA -35). Students learned about working on the Hill and playing an active role in the policymaking process from representatives of the Congressional Hispanic Staff Association (CHSA). From there, participants toured Capitol Hill, meeting their Members of Congress and staffers to discuss public policy issues of concern, including face-to-face meetings with Reps. Nannette Barragan (CA-44), Jim Costa (CA-16), ), Danny Davis (IL-7), Susan Davis (CA-52), Mario Diaz-Balart (FL-25),  Jimmy Gomez (CA-34), Jenniffer Gonzalez-Colon (PR), Luis Gutierrez (IL-4), John Lewis (GA-5), Zoe Lofgren (CA-19), Grace Meng (NY-6), Lucille Roybal Allard (CA-40), Raul Ruiz (CA-36), Linda T. Sánchez (CA-38), Albio Sires (NJ-8), Darren Soto (FL-9), Mark Takano (CA-41), Nydia Velazquez (NY-7), Kevin Yoder (KS-3), and Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA).

Larios, Ivan “Being a part of this experience has been a hard but empowering journey. I came here as a student who didn’t know how to stand up in our society, but now I’m leaving with the knowledge that can change the nation and inspire the world! Change is made by those who are heard. United, we can create an extraordinary voice that can’t be ignored and shows our passion to move forward our Latino community.”

Ivan Larios
Coachella Valley High School
Coachella, California

The program concluded with students critically thinking about how they will take what they learned in D.C. back to their communities. Participants from each of the 13 regions were asked to work together to identify whether they wanted to make a change within themselves, their community, or the world. Reflecting on their experience, students shared what they learned and what they would like to change, committing to hold each other accountable and feeling empowered and ready to take charge as leaders in their communities.

Our 100 2018 R2L NextGen participants will have the distinction of being recognized as junior members of the CHCI Alumni Association. CHCI will continue to connect with these young leaders as they continue in their leadership journey, progressing through high school and into college.

Carrera, Nicole “The R2L NextGen program has been a life-changing experience, one which I will be forever grateful. This program has not only taught me more about politics and civic engagement, but it has also given me the necessary tools to become an influential leader in the Latino community. Being involved in my community has now become a responsibility that I will pursue for the rest of my life”

Nicole Carrera
Maritime Science Technology Academy
Miami, Florida


CHCI will once again host two cohorts of students in 2019. Applications will launch October 15, 2018 and must be submitted by January 15, 2019. Visit the R2L NextGen page for more information!


CHCI is proud to count on the continued support of its generous sponsors to make this transformative program available to deserving high school leaders from across the nation. This program was made possible by founding sponsor, State Farm®Ford FundMacy’s (the official R2L NextGen wardrobe sponsor), Southwest Airlines (the official airline of CHCI Leadership Programs), Lambda Theta Phi Latin Fraternity, Inc., as well as a variety of regional supporters:

General Support
American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers
Univision Communications. Inc.

Central Valley of California Regional Sponsors
The California Endowment
The Avalos Foundation

Central Florida Regional Sponsors
Foundation for Orange County Public Schools

Coachella Valley, CA Regional Sponsors

Puerto Rico Regional Sponsors
Mr. Luis A. Miranda, Jr. and Family
Hispanic Federation

Southern California Regional Sponsors
Edison International/Southern California Edison
USC Sol Price School of Public Policy
Dan Epstein
Phillips 66

South Florida Regional Sponsors
Morgan Lewis & Bockius LLP