“Intense. Mind-blowing. Amazing people. Unforgettable. Life-changing. Brain fry. A moment of real growth. Nothing like it. My world of opportunities just expanded.”
These statements are common descriptions used by 10th and 11th grade students across the United States and Latin America to explain the Lorenzo de Zavala Youth Legislative Session (LDZ), NHI's flagship leadership development experience.
What is the LDZ? An eight-day intensive leadership experience filled with unexpected and unplanned challenges and hurdles, the LDZ is an opportunity for young people to learn how to navigate, manage and create large organizations by taking charge of their own youth government. Since 1982, students from over 20 states and four Latin American nations have convened at one of six locations to play this leadership game of vision, influence and construction of communities of the future.
The LDZ is a competitive and transformative experience crafted for future community leaders. Students form a cohort of 150 delegates ages 16-17 in community positions that propose, review, and adopt policies to advance the Latino community. The week-long quest covers a broad array of skills, competencies, personal growth opportunities, social relevance, and topics of national and international relevance to Latino quality of life.
This year, NHI will host four in-person LDZ programs and one digital LDZx (virtual). For more information on availability for new NHI members, please email email@example.com or continue reading below.
LDZ PROGRAM BREAKDOWN
ADMISSIONS & ELIGIBILITY
Who is eligible to apply for the LDZ?
All students are welcome to apply for the LDZ if they meet the following eligibility requirements:
What does the admissions process look like?
What are the program requirements?
All participating students must:
PROGRAM FEES AND TUITION
What is the cost of the LDZ and virtual LDZx?
The cost of the LDZ and LDZx is broken down into distinct fees, all of which will culminate in supplying your student with the adequate resources for a fulfilling and fun leadership experience.
What does the payment schedule look like?
NHI will provide details about the payment schedule upon acceptance into the program.
NHI is committed to flexibility - that is, payment plans and fundraising tools are available to all families who request them.
After successfully completing the program, LDZers often reflect on the experience as a space where they felt free to express themselves, their ideas, and honed their skills. They felt culturally embraced, understood, and valued. At the LDZ, they began to see themselves as playing a leadership role wherever life would take them, whether at home, in school, in a career, or in service to others. Most of all, they felt special in knowing that leadership is a life-long calling in which they will have a special role to play with NHI.
LOCATIONS & DATES
Where will the LDZ be held?
The LDZ is able to take place due to the generosity of our host institutions. The locations for in-person LDZs are as follows:
New Mexico LDZ
This program is reserved for students from New Mexico.
Albuquerque, New Mexico
June 11-18, 2023
Fort Collins, Colorado
St. Mary's College of Maryland, the National Public Honors College
Virtual LDZx (Online)
HISTORY OF THE LDZ
The LDZ was started in 1982 in Austin, Texas, as two-day experience at the Capitol. In 1983 the program expanded to work with a statewide audience and expanded to eight days. By 1990 the program was operating in three states and today is housed at six different locations. Despite thematic shifts and content adjustments, LDZ continues to engage students in a learning maze designed for the rigors of leading large organizations. The program, Lorenzo de Zavala Youth Legislative Session, is named after the first provisional Vice President of the Republic of Texas and a leader for democracy and liberty in both Mexico and the United States. However, its name is also an homage to De Zavala Park in Houston where NHI's founder and president Ernesto Nieto watched and learned from his parents who were community park directors. Values, lessons, and the overall spirit of community life at De Zavala Park back then inspired the environment and culture of the LDZ summer experience.
ARCHIVED LDZ SLIDESHOWS AND TESTIMONIALS