NextGen Latino Leadership Program | CHCI
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NextGen Latino Leadership Program

Experience: Rising Juniors & Seniors
Program Dates: Summer 2024: June 9-15, July 7-13, July 21-27
Application Launch: August 15, 2023
Application Deadline: February 15, 2024
Home » Rising Juniors & Seniors » NextGen Latino Leadership Program

Have you ever dreamed of visiting our nation’s capital and learning about how our government works? CHCI has an all-expenses paid leadership experience designed just for Latino high school students. Spend a week exploring Washington, D.C., attend civic engagement and leadership workshops, and build life-long friendships. Participate in the NextGen Latino Leadership Program and make it a summer to remember!

The NextGen Latino Leadership Program provides Latino rising juniors and seniors the opportunity to spend a week in Washington, D.C., exploring the city, learning about the legislative process and developing their leadership skills as emerging leaders.

During the NextGen Latino Leadership Program, you will be joined by other Latino high school rising juniors and seniors from across the country. Together, you will gain a better understanding of top issues that face the Latino community, learn how to be leaders and how you can create change and make your voices heard. 

You will engage with Members of Congress, CHCI Alumni, and staff, some of whom may be references for college applications and future jobs.

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PROGRAM BENEFITS

The program is completely FREE of charge to students. Travel, lodging, meals and activities will all be covered through the support of our sponsors.

While in Washington, students will be provided with the opportunity to:

  • Meet with Members of Congress
  • Tour Capitol Hill
  • Explore museums
  • Visit historic monuments and sites in the nation’s capital
  • Interact with prominent national Latino leaders
  • Learn how the political process works
  • Receive training on how to make a difference in their community
  • Develop friendships with students from across the country
  • Become a lifelong member of the CHCI Alumni Association
View program flyer

PROGRAM ELIGIBILITY

Students who wish to apply must:

  • Be a current 10th or 11th grade student (rising juniors and seniors)
  • Demonstrate interest in learning more about civic engagement
  • Reside in one of the 50 states, Puerto Rico, or Washington, D.C.
  • All individuals are welcome to apply. However, preference is given to individuals with financial need.

Family members of CHCI Board or Advisory Board Members are prohibited from participating in any of CHCI’s charitable programs (e.g., scholarships, internships, etc.). Applications by such family members will not be considered.


FAQS

Students who wish to apply must:

  • Be a current 10th or 11th grade student
  • Demonstrate interest in learning more about civic engagement
  • Reside in one of the 50 states, Puerto Rico, or Washington, D.C.
  • All individuals are welcome to apply. However, preference is given to individuals with financial need.

Family members of CHCI Board or Advisory Board Members are prohibited from participating in any of CHCI’s charitable programs (e.g., scholarships, internships, etc.). Applications by such family members will not be considered. Note: Family members include the following individuals regardless of whether the relationship is biological or adoptive:

  • Immediate family — includes spouse, domestic partner, ex-spouse, parents, siblings, half-siblings, children, stepchildren, grandparents, grandchildren, step-parents, step-siblings
  • Related by marriage — includes son-in-law, daughter-in-law, mother-in-law, father-in-law, brother-in-law, sister-in-law
  • Extended family, either natural or by marriage — includes nieces, nephews, uncles, aunts, and first cousin

The 2024 NextGen program will be held in three different sessions throughout the months of June and July. Students will be divided between the weeks by CHCI staff.

*Dates are based on the Congressional calendar and are subject to change*

There will be participants from across the United States in all sessions of the NextGen Program; applicants have the option of stating their preferred week in the application process.

 

Please note, CHCI will assign you to a week based on your response and changes cannot be made. If you are offered a place in one of the weeks you selected and can no longer attend, you will not be able to participate.

There is no cost to student participants. Travel, lodging, meals and activities will all be covered through the support of our generous sponsors and CHCI.

CHCI and Close Up staff will supervise students at all times upon their arrival in Washington, D.C. However, chaperones for travel are not provided. Students will not be supervised by any CHCI or Close Up Foundation staff beyond the airport security gate in Washington, D.C. or at any time in their home city.

 

The 2024 application will launch August 15, 2022. 

Applicants will be required to complete the following:

  • Your personal information (contact information, demographic information, educational information, emergency contact information)
  • Three short essays (see the tips page for details on the essay questions)
  • A copy of your transcript
  • Contact information for your recommender
  • Parent/Guardian Information and Permission Form (Available in English or Spanish)
  • A resume

Visit our Tips for Applying to the NextGen Program for more helpful hints and to preview the essay questions!

The application deadline is  February 15, 2024 at 11:59 pm EST. 

If you don’t live in the Eastern Time Zone, be sure to determine what time that is for you locally! You must complete your application online at chci.smapply.org. Access to the application will end at 11:59 pm EST, so be sure to get everything in!

The program is packed with exciting opportunities for participants to gain civic engagement education, participate in leadership development trainings, engage with other student leaders, network with Latino professionals, visit historic sites, and learn more about their role as changemakers in their communities and the nation.

Please note that the entire program is presented in English.


TIPS FOR APPLYING

The application profile will ask for basic information such as your name, contact information, and information about your parents. The information you enter here will give you your username and password to the CHCI application portal. Make sure you enter everything correctly and use an email address that you have access to – you will need to verify your email address in order to continue the application!

We require one recommendation from an individual who you worked closely with at school, in a community service setting, or a professional environment. An example of the appropriate person to complete the form include: teachers, coaches, guidance counselors, school principals and assistant principals, religious leaders or youth organization program staff. This individual must be able to speak to your work ethic, character and leadership skills. A letter of recommendation should not come from a family member.

Once you provide and submit your recommender’s name and contact information, an email will be sent to your recommender. They will then be instructed to log on to a website where they will be able to upload and submit their recommendation. Make sure you input their email address correctly! If it is incorrect, they will not receive notification.

  • Ask the right person. Make sure it’s someone who knows you well and can talk about what kind of person you are.
  • Ask early. Give them at least one month to complete the letter of recommendation.
  • Explain the process. Let your recommender know they will receive an email from CHCI with a link to complete the recommendation. Make sure you get their correct email address.

CHCI requires that all students who apply to the program receive permission from their parents/guardian to submit an application for the NextGen program. You can download this form in English or Spanish, depending on what your parents are more comfortable with.

You can also download the form from the application. Once your parents or guardians complete the form, it can be uploaded to the application along with the resume and transcript.

CHCI requires that all NextGen applicants briefly answer three questions about the following topics: an issue of importance in your community, a challenge that you have faced, and how your Hispanic heritage has influenced who you are today. Each essay answer must not exceed 300 words and should address each topic within the question.
Below are the three essay questions in full:

  • Please write a letter to your Member of Congress and address a policy issue of importance to you. Be sure to include why you feel this issue is important, and describe possible solutions that could improve the problem. When possible, please include personal examples of how this issue has affected you or people that you know. (Maximum 300 words).
  • How has your understanding of the Latino community helped shape who you are today? Consider your family structure, family history, community involvement, educational and cultural experiences, etc. (Maximum 300 words).
  • The lessons we take from obstacles we encounter can be fundamental to our growth. Recount a time when you faced a challenge, setback, or failure. How did it affect you, and what did you learn from the experience? (Maximum 300 words)
    • We are looking for an essay that will help us know you better as a person and as a student. Your essays will be judged on how you are able to organize thoughts and express yourself, NOT on your opinions.
    • Be yourself. The selection committee wants to hear about what is important to YOU. There are no right or wrong answers, so do not write about what you think people will want to read – write about what is important to you.
    • Edit carefully. Watch out for grammatical errors and typos. Have a teacher or counselor review your essay to help you catch mistakes and make sure it flows nicely.

You will be asked to upload a copy of your transcript (can be unofficial). Remember that a report card is not the same as a transcript. You will need to speak with your school counselor to find out the procedure for requesting a transcript at your high school.

You will need to scan a copy of your transcript and upload it to the application website. If your school does not have a scanner, please send your transcript to:

CHCI
Attention: NextGen Latino Leadership Program
1128 16th Street NW
Washington, D.C. 20036

All applicants need to upload a copy of their resume. Make sure your resume includes your name and contact information.

You can find tips and sample resumes for high school students on the Adventures in Education website.

Don’t forget to apply! Applications must be submitted by 11:59 pm on February 15, 2024.

The NextGen Latino Leadership Program opens doors, education, and resources to Latino students and that is not offered in many places.

2022 NextGen Latino Leadership Program Participant, Paola Maldonado
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