NHI AND U.T. SIGN THREE
YEAR MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING
Texas]—The National Hispanic
Institute and the University of Texas at Austin
have signed a three year Memorandum of Understanding that will broaden contact
between U.T. Austin and high potential Latino youth from across the state who
participate in leadership training and development. In signing the MOU, the National Hispanic
Institute plans to host its annual Texas Ambassador Great Debate on the U.T.
campus over the next three summers. Over
200 high school freshmen annually attend this event. To qualify to participate in NHI leadership
programs, students must have a minimum of a 3.2 GPA, be enrolled in a college
bound high school graduation plan, and demonstrate strong involvement in school
extracurricular activities. This group
is part of 2,500 high school age youth from across the nation and six Latin
American countries who annually attend the organization’s summer leadership
Ernesto Nieto, president and founder of the National Hispanic Institute, says,
“We certainly appreciate the confidence U.T. has expressed in our programs and
especially the calibre of students who annually attend. Hopefully this is a first step in welding
together a partnership that will last well into the future.”
Present at the signing at the
University were Dr. Gregg Vincent, Vice President for Diversity and Engagement, Erica Saenz, Diversity and Community Engagement Officer for Community Relations, and Dr. Rose Martinez, Executive Director of University Outreach Centers.
Representing the National Hispanic Institute
were Dr. Ernesto Nieto, President and Founder, and Ms. Analysse Escobar,
National Project Director for the Great Debate Program. A campus-wide recognition to celebrate the
signing is planned before the close of the school year.
The National Hispanic Institute
started its first program efforts in 1980 in Austin, but has long since broaden its community
influence nationally and internationally.
Other programs of the Institute include the Lorenzo de Zavala Youth
Legislative Session, the Collegiate World Series, and the Discover Argentina
Each year, nearly 1,200 volunteers
work with the National Hispanic Institute in carrying out its national and
international initiatives. Of the youth
who annually attend, approximately 98% enroll in college after high school. An additional 90% receive their undergraduate
degrees in four to five years, and 65%+ continue into advanced studies. The
National Hispanic Institute holds similar agreements with other colleges and
universities that in Texas include Southwestern University
in Georgetown and Austin
College in Sherman.