Our Values

The National Hispanic Institute has 40 year history of serving Latino youth. We provide life changing learning experiences that develop leadership capacities to better engage in Latino community life. We work diligently to create a culture of high integrity, professionalism, ethics, and values that guide our approach to fulfilling our mission.

Please click on Code of Professionalism and Ethics and I AM NHI Fundamentals below to learn more.

In addition, the safety and security of all our staff, student members, alumni, and volunteers is our priority. Should you see or hear of anyone that is acting inconsistent with our values, please contact us at report@nhimail.com.

At the National Hispanic Institute we develop leaders. In this commitment we not only contribute skills and talent, we also create, inspire and serve. Our promise is demonstrated by 25 fundamental behaviors that are core to our success. These principles define how we relate to ourselves, each other and our community. We continuously learn, teach and practice them in order to foster a space of imagination and new possibility for community advancement.


  • FUNDAMENTAL #1:  ACT WITH INTEGRITY. Be ethical. Demonstrate an unwavering commitment to doing the right thing in every action you take and in every decision you make, especially when no one’s looking. Tell the truth and settle matters respectfully and courteously, directly at the source. If you make a mistake, own up to it and make it right.</span
  • FUNDAMENTAL #2:  TREASURE, PROTECT & PROMOTE OUR LEGACY. As NHI members, we are recognized for and benefit from our proud leadership legacy. Consider how your actions affect our collective reputation. Represent our community well and be a proud ambassador of the organization.
  • FUNDAMENTAL #3:  CELEBRATE & CHERISH OUR LATINO CULTURE. Invest your time and talent in advancing our unique heritage with pride and gratitude. Build upon our community and history for the next generation. Be an example for others, and honor those before us.
  • FUNDAMENTAL #4:  HONOR COMMITMENTS. Practice bringing deep respect to your word when you give it. Identify your priorities and plan actions that realistically fulfill them. Manage obstacles that impact your commitments. Do what you say you’re going to do, when you say you’re going to do it, the right way. If a commitment can’t be fulfilled, let others know in advance and do what you can to make it right.
  • FUNDAMENTAL #5:  ENGAGE WITH ENTHUSIASM & RIGOR. Have a passion for what we do and be fully engaged. Make the most of each day by approaching every task with energy, purpose, and enthusiasm. Work with a sense of rigor to get things done.
  • FUNDAMENTAL #6:  HAVE FUN & BE POSITIVE. While our passion for excellence is real, keep the perspective that the world has bigger problems than our daily challenges. You have the power to choose your attitude and have fun. Spread joy, optimism, and enthusiasm. Don’t take things personally or take yourself too seriously. Laugh every day.
  • FUNDAMENTAL #7:  BEHAVE LIKE A STAKEHOLDER. Demonstrate a passion for excellence and take pride in your work. Have a healthy disdain for mediocrity. Be a fanatic about accuracy and precision. Work to get things right, not simply get them done. Good is not good enough. Always ask yourself, “Is this my best work?” Take responsibility for the outcomes.
  • FUNDAMENTAL #8:  APPRECIATE & ACKNOWLEDGE. Regularly extend meaningful acknowledgment and appreciation in all directions throughout NHI. Celebrate progress as much as victory. Seek out the best in others and praise often. Allow yourself and others to learn, improve, and grow. Make corrections respectfully and in an encouraging manner.
  • FUNDAMENTAL #9:  PROCEED ONLY ON FAITH. (POOF) YOU have the power to imagine possibilities and only YOU can allow yourself to dream. Have faith in yourself and your community. Do good work, don’t cut corners, have faith in others, and they will have faith in you.
  • FUNDAMENTAL #10:  CREATE & SET CLEAR EXPECTATIONS. Create clarity and avoid misunderstandings by discussing expectations up front. Set expectations for others and when you’re not clear on what is expected of you, ask questions. End all meetings with clarity about action items, responsibilities, and calendars for completion.
  • FUNDAMENTAL #11:  FORECAST & ANTICIPATE. Address possible problems before they develop by anticipating future issues, planning for contingencies, and designing projects that create harmony and reduce conflict. Work with appropriate lead times. Preventing issues is always better than fixing them.
  • FUNDAMENTAL #12:  REFLECT, ADAPT & EXECUTE. When presented with a challenge, be flexible and curious to better understand the underlying issues. Use unbiased inquiry to discover possible areas of conflict. Gather diverse points of view to review the situation and find common ground. Get agreement on the intended outcome, and re-align your actions to get there.
  • FUNDAMENTAL #13:  INITIATE PLANS & DELIVER RESULTS. Take personal responsibility for making things happen. Respond to every situation by looking for how we can do it, rather than explaining why it can’t be done. While we appreciate effort, we reward and celebrate results. Set high goals, measure your progress, and hold yourself accountable for achieving those results.
  • FUNDAMENTAL #14:  TREAT PEOPLE LIKE FAMILY. Approach everyone with respect, dignity and as a valuable asset with a contribution to make. Be inclusive and follow the Golden Rule – treat others as you want to be treated. Whether it’s a kind word during a tough stretch, a friendly smile each morning, or a helping hand in stressful times, treat others like family.
  • FUNDAMENTAL #15:  FREE YOUR MIND TO CREATE. Innovation, improvement, and success don’t come from routine custom and practice. They come from unbridling your mind to reach its full potential. Ask profound questions. Test out possible scenarios and outcomes before launching projects. Be thoughtful and willing to try the unconventional.
  • FUNDAMENTAL #16:  CREATE A SAFE ENVIRONMENT. Know and practice our safety procedures for everyone’s well-being. Always secure areas that involve you and your team- mates. Have contingency plans in case of emergencies. Don’t take shortcuts that compromise the safety of you and those around you.
  • FUNDAMENTAL #17:  IF IT’S MEANT TO BE, IT’S UP TO ME. We have the capacity to design and initiate plans that give us advantages in life. Invest time in learning, reflecting, improving and sharing best practices. Feeling uncomfortable at times means you’re in a growth mode. A new mindset means new results. Find ways to get things done better, faster, and more creatively. There are more opportunities than problems, if you believe in yourself!
  • FUNDAMENTAL #18:  PRACTICE BLAMELESS PROBLEM SOLVING. When problems arise, focus on resolutions and avoid fault-finding. Remember your larger purpose and accept your role in helping make things right. Apply your creativity, spirit and enthusiasm to solutions. Lessons learned from shortcomings improve future performance and wisen us to potential mistakes before they happen.
  • FUNDAMENTAL #19:  LISTEN GENEROUSLY. Listening is more than simply “not speaking.” Give others your undivided attention. Be present and engaged. Suspend judgment, the need to disagree, the need to interrupt with your opinion, and be careful about assumptions and jumping to conclusions. Strong and attentive listeners help others feel secure and understood. Generous listening allows a space for others to express their ideas and thoughts, free from fear or judgment.
  • FUNDAMENTAL #20:  RECIPROCATE SUPPORT. When people invest in you, show gratitude and endeavor to help them in return. Whether it be a kind thank you note, your time and effort on one of their projects, or publicly recognizing their contributions, work to cultivate your relationships. We serve our community as it serves us. Being a community that reciprocates support is a quality we can all benefit from and pass on to future generations.
  • FUNDAMENTAL #21:  LEAD BY SERVING & INSPIRING OTHERS. Be a model leader who inspires people and serves the community. Initiate by offering help and encouragement to others, and be willing to step into different roles if that’s what it takes to be successful. Create opportunities for the growth and development of people.
  • FUNDAMENTAL #22:  SEEK COMMON GROUND. Work from the assumption that there is common ground between you and others. Be open to learning from people, no matter what role they have, and regardless of their age, industry, experience, or tenure. Set aside your own judgments and preconceived notions. Give others the benefit of the doubt that we are all doing our best to make a difference, each in our own way.
  • FUNDAMENTAL #23:  HEALTHY BODY/HEALTHY MIND. Take care of your physical and mental well-being. Make healthy choices for your body, mind, and spirit. Notice when you’re “off” mentally, emotionally, physically, or spiritually. Seek out help and set aside time for yourself. The more you take care of yourself, the more prosperous and generous you can be.
  • FUNDAMENTAL #24:  CREATE THE OPPORTUNITY. Be the leader who envisions new opportunities that inspire and engage others to get involved. Communicate the positive outcomes and benefits to be derived from community endeavors. Share and celebrate success when opportunities materialize into real, sustainable projects.
  • FUNDAMENTAL #25:  APPROACH PEOPLE WITH HUMILITY AND COURAGE. Approach others with respect, humility, and a healthy courage to make good things happen. Remember your higher purpose, and that nobody is under any obligation to help you. Win people over with your positive intention to do good. Inspire rather than obligate. Make it attractive for people to get involved in achieving larger goals.

Code of Professionalism and Ethics


The National Hispanic Institute (“NHI”) is an organization that fosters future leaders for the expanding Latino community throughout the United States and Latin America. NHI’s primary mission is to create experiences that engage achieving high school and college age youth in community leadership roles that advance our collective quality of life.  NHI achieves this mission through formal leadership development and social entrepreneurship.

The purpose of this Code of Professionalism and Ethics is to further NHI’s mission and ensure that all NHI officers, trustees, directors, employees, volunteers, and program participants (collectively, “NHI Associates”) adhere to and promote the highest level of ethical standards, as well as preserve NHI’s integrity, relationships, and reputation in the communities that it serves.

This Code of Professionalism and Ethics is not intended to cover every applicable law or provide answers to all questions that may arise.  NHI Associates must be able to rely on their own common sense of right and wrong. Before participating in any activity affiliated with NHI, NHI Associates should consider carefully whether their conduct is in the best interests of NHI and complies with the spirit and letter of NHI’s mission, this Code of Professionalism and Ethics, any applicable NHI policies, and all applicable laws.  NHI expects and demands that all NHI Associates act consistently in accordance with the highest ethical principles and integrity when representing NHI.

Core Values

Fundamental to the operations of NHI are certain core values, namely:

  • Honesty. Be honest. Demonstrate honesty by being truthful, trustworthy, and fair.
  • Integrity. Act ethically.  NHI is committed to achieving excellence and expects a high standard of professionalism through ethical behavior, which means do the right thing, even if no one is watching.
  • Fairness. Be fair. Hold yourself accountable, work towards environments of fairness, and when you feel fairness is not achievable, work through your highest supervisor or the existing NHI channels to air your sentiments.
  • Respect for Others and Property. Treat everyone and all property with dignity and conduct yourself in a professional manner at all times. Do not infringe on the rights or personal values of others, and do not destroy or damage property. Create an environment that is free of bullying, harassment and retaliation, and report those who bully, harass, or retaliate. While NHI encourages, and indeed expects, the free expression of views and the discussions of differing viewpoints, all should be done in a professional and civil manner. Personal attacks on, or insults of, individuals have no place in the NHI environment.
  • Adherence to Mission and Scope.  NHI’s work in the community is directed at building future community leaders for the Latino community.  When matters arise beyond the scope of our duties and responsibilities, NHI officers and volunteers practice the use of our internal protocol, which may defer to expert services that are legal, medical, psychological, or social in nature.
  • Transparency. Be transparent in all activities. Promptly and openly identify and disclose conflicts of interest.  Take appropriate steps to either eliminate such conflicts or ensure that they do not compromise NHI operations and values or violate the law.  Do not exploit your position with NHI for personal gain.
  • Diversity. Support and value diversity. Promote an environment that embraces the similarities and differences all people bring to NHI.
  • Compliance. Obey both the spirit and letter of the law and all NHI policies and procedures.
  • Inclusion.  NHI neither condones nor practices discrimination on the basis of race, gender, political affiliation, economic circumstances, or religious belief.


NHI Associates must agree not to release or use NHI information that has not been made public to private individuals, organizations, or government bodies unless demanded by legal process. Further, NHI Associates shall not use NHI proprietary information obtained in the course of their affiliation with NHI for the purpose of advancing their own private interests or otherwise for personal gain.


NHI strictly prohibits and does not tolerate any form of harassment against any individual involved with NHI programs or events.  NHI Associates must maintain strictly professional relationships with all individuals involved with NHI and when representing NHI in public, refrain from engaging in harassment or other conduct that could reasonably be construed as inappropriate.  This would include, but is not limited to, using inappropriate language, hazing, bullying, engaging in nonverbal or physical actions that are inappropriate or pervasive in nature, posting inappropriate or unsuitable materials in their work area, or posting or accessing inappropriate materials at NHI property or any location where a NHI program or event is being held.  Violations may result in temporary suspension or permanent expulsion. If you have a question about whether a certain type of conduct is appropriate, please contact your supervisor at NHI or a member of NHI’s Board of Trustees.

Sexual Misconduct

NHI serves students in the United States and abroad. As the students involved with NHI look to their adult NHI counterparts for examples of respect, integrity, honesty and excellence, sexual misconduct in any form is expressly prohibited.  NHI associates must not, under any circumstance, engage in inappropriate relations with an NHI student or participant and must understand the difference between appropriate physical contact versus contact that is, or could reasonably be perceived as being, sexual in nature, inappropriate, or disrespectful.  To be clear, sexual misconduct in any form that involves an NHI associate will not be tolerated.  Violations may result in permanent removal from any and all activities associated with NHI, and such violations may also be reported to law enforcement.

Weapons/Drugs & Alcohol

NHI expressly prohibits the possession of weapons or firearms of any type on NHI property or at any location where a NHI program or event is being held. Further, NHI Associates are prohibited from possessing or being under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or any type of controlled substance on NHI property or at any location where a NHI program or event is being held.  Law enforcement will be involved in these matters.

Public/Social Media Communications

Public statements and social media (e.g., Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, etc.) messages/postings are powerful tools. NHI expects all NHI Associates to abide by NHI’s policies and guidelines in all their public communications and social media activities relating to NHI.

NHI Associates must communicate on social media sites professionally and respectfully, just as NHI would expect them to communicate were they present in person. All communications with young people must be appropriate, both in terms of the student’s age and the relationship between the adult and student. Profanity, sexualized language or jokes, images of a sexual nature, or similar communications involving adult topics, drugs or alcohol, are never appropriate around students, no matter if they occur in person, in an email or text message, or on a social media site.

NHI Associates must keep separate any social media communications that implicate NHI from their own personal communications. Young people may have difficulty distinguishing among an adult’s different roles. Therefore, NHI Associates must presume that any communications with a NHI student will be perceived by the student as relating to NHI as an organization and must act accordingly.

Conflicts of Interest

NHI expects all NHI Associates to perform all activities conscientiously, honestly, and in accordance with the best interests of NHI. NHI Associates must not use their position with NHI for personal advantage.  When a NHI Associate is in a situation in which competing loyalties could cause he or she to pursue a personal benefit for themselves or their friends or family at the expense of NHI, there may be a conflict of interest.  If a NHI Associate feels that a particular course of action they have embarked upon, or they may be contemplating acting upon, involves a conflict of interest with NHI, the NHI Associate should immediately consult with their supervisor at NHI or a member of NHI’s Board of Trustees.  All NHI Associates should avoid conflicts of interest and circumstances that reasonably present the appearance of a conflict.

Safeguarding NHI Funds with Integrity and Diligence

NHI is a Texas-based, 501 ( c ) 3 non-profit corporation designated as tax exempt by the IRS and conducts a biannual audit of its property and holdings.  Local alliances operating on its behalf must follow the same practices of its parent organization, including the correct and proper reporting of income and expenses exclusively for purposes of programs and project of the National Hispanic Institute.  Said programs and projects must be duly authorized by the National Hispanic Institute headquarters and may be administered authorized alliances, project administrators, and/or assigned individuals.

NHI Associates who are involved with preparing financial reports or facilitating transactions on behalf of NHI should set examples of honest and ethical behavior and ensure that all organizational assets and transactions are handled with the strictest integrity. NHI Associates involved in such activities must ensure that each transaction is executed in accordance with applicable procedures, authorization, and documentation.

Reporting of Misconduct

If an NHI Associate believes (or is unsure how to proceed) that the actions of anyone involved with NHI are unethical or expose NHI or its members to risk, liability or disrepute, such NHI Associate must report the situation by contacting their direct supervisor or, if the conduct involves that direct supervisor, the next level above their direct supervisor, as soon as reasonably possible following the occurrence of the offending conduct.

You are also asked to report any such issues to the Incident Committee of the Board of Trustees (the “NHI Incident Committee”) at report@nhimail.com as soon as possible. That Committee will treat each report with extreme discretion and privacy, and respect for all parties involved, and, if necessary, take action to resolve the issue promptly.

NHI takes all complaints of misconduct and violations of this Code of Professionalism and Ethics seriously. Any complaint reporting a possible violation of this Code of Professionalism and Ethics should be as detailed as possible, including the names of all individuals involved and any witnesses. Allegations of misconduct will be escalated internally to NHI’s Executive Vice President (who may determine to initiate an internal investigation) and the NHI Incident Committee. If such conduct is illegal in nature, such allegations will be promptly reported to the appropriate authorities. In the event that NHI determines that misconduct has occurred, NHI will, if deemed to be in the best interests of NHI and its members, suspend or terminate the alleged wrongdoer’s association with NHI, depending on the severity of the alleged misconduct.  

NHI strongly encourages NHI Associates to notify the appropriate individuals within the organization and the NHI Incident Committee in order to report suspected misconduct in violation of the principals set forth in this Code of Professionalism and Ethics. NHI strictly prohibits retribution or retaliation of any kind for the good faith reporting of unethical or questionable behavior, misconduct, or violations of this Code of Professionalism and Ethics, NHI policies, or any applicable rule of law.


This Code of Professionalism and Ethics sets forth the fundamental principles, policies, and procedures that govern the conduct of NHI Associates. It does not create any rights for any such individuals. This Code of Professionalism and Ethics does not constitute an employment contract or an assurance of continued employment or association with NHI.  NHI may modify or repeal the provisions of this Code of Professionalism and Ethics or adopt a new code whenever it deems necessary, with or without notice.

Every NHI Associate must review this Code of Professionalism and Ethics and comply with the spirit and letter of its terms.  NHI expects all NHI Associates to know and follow this Code of Professionalism and Ethics. Failure to do so can result in disciplinary action, including suspension or immediate termination of such person’s association with NHI.

Earlier today, we saw horrifying images of a young girl getting pepper sprayed in Seattle during a protest — that image may endure as one of the lasting images of this troubling episode we find ourselves in. We also learned earlier today that an NHI student from San Antonio was protesting, and was sprayed with tear gas. Though we confirmed she is okay, we are obviously very concerned about any NHI community members who find themselves in harm’s way.

The outrage over George Floyd’s death, and the many before him who breathed their last in police custody, has crossed into violent territory. We at NHI, belonging to a community that has experienced marginalization and injustice, is outraged by the treatment of our fellow Americans.

As NHIers, we have been trained to use our minds and our skills, to hold ourselves accountable to the civic responsibilities we all share as Americans. What we are facing now — a pandemic, an economic downturn, and now an expression of outrage over racial injustice, may be one of our greatest challenges yet.

We ask you, in this time, to remember your NHI training. What are the assets within you, your personal gifts and powers, that could affect this situation? How can they best be applied? And if you are successful at your endeavor, what will the outcome look like?

We are hopeful for justice, for peace, to move toward equality. We are thinking of all our alumni and all of humanity in this time, and encourage you to be part of a solution that makes our communities and our nation stronger.