The National Hispanic Institute offers four different leadership programs to High School students beginning freshman year.

Each year high school students from around the DFW area participate in The Great Debate (9th grade), Lorenzo De Zavala Youth Legislative Session (10th & 11th grade) and the Collegiate World Series (11th grade). These experiences focus on communication skills, community service, cultural appreciation, leadership, problem solving, and conflict resolution.



The Great Debate is the introductory program of the National Hispanic Institute aimed toward high school freshman. This is a competitive debate style program aimed to develop and improve communication skills by discussing important social issues that effect the Latino community. The primary take away of this program is to challenge students intellectually, increase students capacity to express thoughts, and compete at the highest level against equally qualified peers.




The LDZ is a week long program where students learn to navigate and ultimately create a bureaucratic system in the form of a mock government. Participants learn the art of persuasion, create policies, form their own political parties, and seek to be elected to a political office, including Senate, Supreme Court Justice, Governor (President) & Lt. Governor (Vice President), and House of Representatives. The most rigorous of NHI programs, the LDZ challenges students to create and envision future leadership within the Latino community.



The CWS is the last program students participate in as a high school student. This is the summation of all NHI programs. Students “graduate” from NHI with a ceremony, then undergo competitive exercises in preparation for completing the college application process. Furthermore, students dive into IBL (immersive based learning) through a question based approach to analyze goals and decisions that will shape their futures.

4 Day debate style program for high school freshman


This is the introductory program to the National Hispanic Institute in which 9th grade students compete in a debate style program against teams different regions of Texas, comprised of freshman students. This is the only program in which students train for and attend/compete as the Dallas Region. Our students undergo a 12 week long training period where we hold weekly training sessions and prepare them to compete in their selected debate category (Extemporaneous Speaking, Oratory, Cross Examination, & Mock Trial). The Great Debate is aimed to expand intellectual thought by discussing and debating important issues that effect the Latino community, all while honing and perfecting communication, presentation, and critical thinking skills.



Week long youth legislative session for 10th & 11th grade students


In the second program offered by the National Hispanic Institute, students travel to their choice of one of six host institutions to participate in a week long youth legislative session. There is not a formal training period, with the Dallas Region, like the Great Debate. At this program students learn the protocols and procedures of forming a government, writing proposals to be passed into law, and ultimately form their own government. The LDZ is aimed for students to expand their mindset intellectually through the art of persuasion and envisioning what future leadership and policies for the Latino community look like.


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4 Day competitive series for high school juniors


In the final program for high school students, 11th grade students are drafted by college admission officers to represent their university. These students undergo a competitive series of activities all pertaining to the college application process. Each student gains points for their resume, college essay, interview, etc. Points are tallied and one university, made up of CWS participants, is deemed the Champion of the Collegiate World Series. In part two of the CWS, students are immersed in IBL (immersive based learning) through a question based approach to analyze and reflect on their goals and decisions they will soon be making that will shape their futures. And furthermore how those decisions will set them up to invest in the communities that brought them to where they are now.