A Leadership Training Experience
on Community Social Entrepreneurship
Celebración is a showcase event of the National Hispanic Institute that annually invites its high school age and undergraduate students to participate in a four-day experience that introduces them to community social entrepreneurship as part of their continued involvement in leadership training.
Nearly 550 high school students and 100 undergraduate students attend this event, not to mention an additional 100 alumni who also convene to discuss ways of furthering the work of the organization. Other features of Celebración include a private college fair, an alumni awards banquet, student entertainment, awards recognition and opportunities for all participants to broaden their social networks and contacts among individuals who actively work to help change the lives of others.
In 2016, Celebración took place during November 10-13, 2016, at the spaciously designed McAllen Convention Center on the southernmost tip of Texas in the Rio Grande Valley. Student guests stayed at the newly constructed Embassy Suites or La Quinta Hotel as part of a large, modern shopping area filled with stores and eateries, immediately next to the convention hall. Student costs for the three-night, four-day experience was $360 and goes towards room accommodations, food, and student supplies. Student leadership development is donated by the National Hispanic Institute in conjunction with its training faculty and volunteers. For only $25, students can reserve transportation to and from airport terminals in Harlingen and McAllen and the McAllen bus terminal. The conference fee also includes 24 hour security and adult oversight. Different than its regular summer programming, Celebración engages participants with the opportunity broaden their social contacts with over 500 high caliber peers who aspire to high levels of personal achievement, forming a national/international stage for competition. Annually, over 16 states and 3 Latin American countries are represented.
Attendance at Celebración requires an official application by students along with permission from parents to attend. Admission for high school students takes place on an “open bid, first come-first serve” basis and is limited to applicants who attend NHI’s summer leadership programs like the Great Debate, the Lorenzo de Zavala Youth Legislative Session, and the Collegiate World Series. For college students, participants must maintain a 2.5 GPA and be enrolled in an accredited university.
As result of attending Celebración 2017, students will gain the following benefits:
- They will develop a larger understanding of the Latino community as an emerging population of hemispheric significance that adds value to their individual identities and cultural confidence.
- Opportunities to work alongside high potential peers of similar age from across the United States and different Latin American countries with whom they can compete, form lasting friendships and learn from one another.
- They will be provided with added opportunities to establish and cultivate personal relations with top college and university officials that will give them a competitive edge in competing for admission and scholarships.
- They will establish relations with NHI alumni as adult professionals who can add to their repertoire of contacts and support in their future educational and professional pursuits.
- They will establish personal contact with older NHI undergraduate students who can help guide them as college applicants in the near future.
- They will further their understanding of community leadership from a perspective of becoming investor-beneficiaries of their own development rather than relying on older, more traditional models that emphasize need over promise and potential.
APPLYING TO CELEBRACION
A strong number of students begin applying to Celebración in August, after completing their attendance at NHI summer leadership programs. The priority deadline for submitting an application is August 15, whereby students will automatically have a higher chance of getting a roommate from their region. The final deadline is September 15, 2016. Note that space is on a first-come, first serve basis.
The only cost to attend Celebración is housing, food, and transportation. Students who require airline flights to attend are encouraged to move quickly to reserve the best fares possible. The remaining conference fee of $360 includes food (with the exception of one evening meal), hotel room at the Embassy Suites or La Quinta (quads), conference fees, and student supplies. The training, facilities, and oversight management are donated by NHI, training faculty, and volunteers, making the overall experience of Celebración highly cost-friendly to families, participating schools, and local community sponsors. If you wish to sponsor a student, please call us at 512-357-6137 and visit with our business office.
MOBILIZING LOCAL RESOURCES
Parents and students are encouraged to investigate potential funding support from their respective schools, districts and/or local business sponsors. Students may also use NHI’s free fund-raising website (nhiyouthfund.kintera.org) to seek support from friends and extended members of their families. These matters are left to the individual initiative of parents and students who are encouraged to start their mobilization efforts as soon as a determination is made to attend. NHI is always willing to provide other materials to help support a student’s efforts.
CELEBRACION TENTATIVE SCHEDULE: TBD
NHI Faculty for Celebracion Leadership Training
NHI proudly mobilizes top NHI Faculty to deliver the curriculum at Celebracion. You will have the opportunity to work with many of the Education Directors from this past summer, as well as meet new faces in NHI’s training faculty. The faculty are ready to challenge you intellectually and push your creative talents as we envision our community’s future!
NHI College Fair at Celebracion
Celebración also features an NHI College Register fair of 40 top colleges and universities, an NHI Alumni Weekend (Nhi.360alumni.com/) sponsor recognition activities, and an Alumni Banquet featuring national and international awards recipients for community service and excellence.