The John F. Lopez (JFL) Internship takes place each summer to promote development opportunities for undergraduate students. John F. Lopez (JFL) Interns who are selected are current enrolled undergraduate students that demonstrate leadership potential, willingness to face challenges, and ability to share talent and skill with the Hispanic/Latino community. Named in honor of NHI Board Trustee, John F. Lopez, the John F. Lopez Internship is designed to elicit qualities of spirit, creativity, and talent exemplified by its founder. Of the 90,000 NHI alumni, John F. Lopez made some of the greatest contributions to the growth of the National Hispanic Institute. He served as a student participant in the first statewide LDZ program in 1983, volunteered eight successive years in NHI programs, served as a full time professional in Maxwell, and now is a member of the NHI Board of Trustees. John also founded the College Register and internship program.

The purpose of the John F. Lopez Internship is to provide undergraduate student leaders a means to expand opportunities for organization impact, within their desired major/field of study, as well as develop their professional leadership and management skills. As counselors, research specialists, trainers and planners, interns participate in interactive experiences that enable them to critically examine the needs required for future leadership roles. To date, over 200 members have participated as John F. Lopez Interns at NHI.

About NHI

The National Hispanic Institute aims to expand the base of leadership in the Latino community. Annually, NHI conducts leadership programs for students ranging in age from high school freshmen to college seniors. Programs of the National Hispanic Institute include the Great Debate, the Lorenzo de Zavala Youth Legislative Session, Collegiate World Series, Abroad Language Programs, John F. Lopez Internship, Collegiate Leadership Network, and Celebración. Special consortiums of the National Hispanic Institute include the College Register and Community Leadership Center. Annually, 80-100 undergraduate institutions actively work with the Institute in Latino student outreach and our community leadership council actively seeks out and mobilizes students to engage in NHI leadership experiences. Additionally, NHI achieves its level of community impact through the contribution of volunteer parents and 1,000 NHI alumni each year.

How You, Your Business, or Your College Can Participate

Colleges and universities sponsor students to participate in the John F. Lopez Internship for 10 weeks during the summer. The internship program curriculum includes projects based learning at the National Hispanic Institute, office duties/responsibilities, research initiatives, participation in a minimum of two (2) summer leadership programs and training with NHI President & Founder, Ernesto Nieto. John F. Lopez Interns also have the opportunity to represent their university/college department as student mentors and advocates for their sponsoring university.

Long-term learning initiatives include independent projects carried out at the office of the National Hispanic Institute. Independent projects are generally in the field of research and development, cultural/historical creations, project management, and student education. All summer interns are required to give a public presentation to NHI’s executive staff as well as present a written report to their sponsoring institutions.

Living & Working in Maxwell

The National Hispanic Institute office is housed in a three-story Victorian-style home on 46 acres of land in Maxwell, Texas. JFL Interns live in the nearby town of San Marcos, a small university town of about 80,000 people located 10-15 minutes from Maxwell. San Marcos is known for its historic charm, proximity to Austin (25 miles to the North) and San Antonio (45 miles to the South), and a beautiful spring-fed river. On a small scale, San Marcos offers all the services of large cities including restaurants, local recreation and site seeing, tubing, cinemas, gift shops, and a large outlet mall. Both Austin and San Antonio offer major airports, cultural/historical activities and cosmopolitan lifestyles.

Financing the Lopez Internship

Interested candidates can approach their college/university or businesses to help underwrite the cost of the internship. The chief financial contributors toward this effort are the National Hispanic Institute, the sponsoring university/business, and the student. The National Hispanic Institute covers all intern training and management expenses while onsite at programs (meals and housing) and in living quarters in Maxwell (with the exception of utilities). The sponsoring institution covers the student’s $2,800 stipend, $1,000 administrative fee, and approximately $700 in travel costs to two NHI programs. The student must cover his/her round trip to and from Maxwell, phone/utilities, food, daily transportation to work, and personal expenses. All business contributions are tax deductible.

Contact Us

Interested universities, businesses, and students should contact the Office of Special Projects at the National Hispanic Institute at (512) 357-6137 to work out financial arrangements.


Criteria for admission into a internship position include the following:

  • 3.0 grade point average or higher
  • Demonstration of leadership qualities in school and/or work
  • Completed application by January 31, 2016
  • Completion of at least one year of college
  • Students should be unmarried and without children

Students should be prepared to ask for an official transcript and write a 300 word essay describing their interest and anticipated contribution to the JFL Internship Program.


Students, colleges, and businesses interested in arranging JFL Internship should submit student applications and letters of sponsorship intent to the National Hispanic Institute no later than Monday, April 30, 2018 Sponsors should make out all contributions for the summer internship to the National Hispanic Institute. Contributions are due prior to the student’s first day of work, and must fully cover the $2,800 stipend, $1,000 administrative fee, and $700 travel allowance. Travel arrangements for interns to NHI programs can be made through the National Hispanic Institute. Intern travel to two programs is not to exceed $700. Travel to and from Maxwell is the responsibility of the intern.

Contact Information

Paola G. Hernandez
Special projects
(512) 357-6137 ext. 207

Non-Profit Organization

The National Hispanic Institute is a private, 501 (c) 3 non-profit organization. All contributions to the John F. Lopez Internship are tax-deductible.