CSU hosts National Hispanic Institute’s Colorado LDZ Youth Leadership Legislative Session June 18-25

Contact for reporters:

Kate Jeracki, Colorado State University


Phil West, Orange Cone Agency

Schedule of events open to the community and media here.


As part of its ongoing mission to educate the next generation of Latino leaders through its innovative immersive-disruptive learning model, the National Hispanic Institute will be bringing 150 students from six states (Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Pennsylvania, Texas and Wyoming) and Mexico to the Colorado Lorenzo de Zavala Youth Legislative Session, June 18-25 at Colorado State University.

The Lorenzo de Zavala Youth Legislative Session (known to NHIers as the LDZ) is the second of three NHI-designed programs created for high school students with the potential to become leaders within the U.S. and global Latino communities. The LDZ introduces students to core NHI concepts as well as helping them to develop public speaking and teamwork skills.

“Our programs do more than teach students to be better public speakers, practice public policy, and prepare for college,” said NHI president and founder Ernesto Nieto. “Our students learn to dispense with the fear of failure. They learn to take risks and expect victory, and in doing so, change how they see themselves, how they see the world, how and where they can lead, and how they can best impact and transform their communities — be it opening a restaurant, becoming a doctor, or running for Congress.”

More than college admission

Though NHI notes that 98 percent of its students enter college, with 90 percent receiving college degrees within five years, the program is focused on much more than higher education. College is only one step toward a principled leadership thinking about the Latino community from the perspective of what it can offer, and not what problems within it need to be fixed.

It’s a forward-looking leadership program that Nieto says is geared toward what communities throughout the Americas will need in the decades to come. The program utilizes what NHI terms immersive-disruptive learning, a self-directed, student-centered learning method that encourages critical thinking and challenges society’s assumptions and conventions.

“Colorado State University has the longest-standing partnership in higher education with the National Hispanic Institute for the Lorenzo de Zavala (LDZ) Youth Legislative Session,” said Connie Jaime-Lujan, associate director for the Access Center at CSU, which hosts the LDZ conference. “This collaboration reflects our sustained mutual commitment to developing successful Latino leaders. We value LDZ’s program emphasis on establishing strong analytical and intellectual skills students need for success in college. LDZ transforms high school students in eight short days, and helps them to find their voice and place as leaders in their communities and on a college campus like ours at CSU.”

For more information about NHI, its programs, and its new path for developing leaders, visit https://www.nationalhispanicinstitute.org/. For more information about LDZ at CSU, now in its 28th year, contact Connie Jaime-Lujan, via email at connie.jaime-lujan@colostate.edu or phone at (970) 491-4035.

This program is made possible in part by sponsorship from DishLATINO and Union Pacific.