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Celebración 2017
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Celebración 2017 (#Cele2017)

November 2017

McAllen Convention Center (McAllen, TX)


Celebración is the annual showcase event of the National Hispanic Institute that is held each year for public viewing. Youth in attendance compete in a series of competitions conducted at the San Antonio Convention Center. Approximately 1,000 youth finalists from different NHI-sponsored summer programs attend each year with 800 being college-bound high school participants and 200 in undergraduate collegiate studies. These youth travel to San Antonio from different states in the U.S. and regions including Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, Panama, and México. An additional 1,000 guests attend, which include parents, high school counselors/teachers, college admission counselors, adult NHI alumni, and special honored guests. Feature components of the four-day program include the following:


COLLEGIATE LEADERSHIP NETWORK—The Collegiate Leadership Network (CLN) will concentrate on developing the largest undergraduate Latino organization of NHI alumni both nationally and abroad with affiliated campus chapters. The annual CLN convention at Celebración will include the election of officers and governing authority, and the appointment of a CLN representative to the NHI board of trustees. The CLN will also serve as a forum for the presentation of different lectures and papers on community social entrepreneurship as well as different skill and capacity-building workshops that focus on the psychological/emotional transitions from college to the real world, making use of NHI networks and contacts, and developing pathways to personal and professional success. CLN participants will review and select different member submissions on self-sustaining community initiatives as proposals for local implementation that promote leadership and excellence among area highschool youth through projects conducted independently of regular college campus life. Total anticipated training contact hours: 15 hrs; professional networking: 3 hrs; social and awards: 3 hrs.


COLLEGIATE WORLD SERIES—The Collegiate World Series will engage participants in planning and evaluating different options for personal enrichment as entering NHI college freshmen and beyond. The exploration of these ideas and possibilities will extend beyond traditional study majors and general undergraduate student campus life, Examples will include enrollment in NHI sponsored abroad community development projects in Latin America that also strengthen Spanish proficiency, establishment of self-study groups on Latino writers and authors, extended weekend sessions in creative writing and idea exploration during summer breaks, and opportunities to participate in various paid and volunteer summer internship opportunities at NHI. Total anticipated training contact hours: 15 hrs; college fair and professional networking: 3 hrs; social and awards: 3 hrs.


LORENZO DE ZAVALA YOUTH LEGISLATIVE SESSION—The Lorenzo de Zavala Youth Legislative Session will engage participants in an intensive discussion regarding the impact they can have on Latino youth junior high and high school students as a collective body of aspiring young men and women with potentially the most influence on current peer thinking and culture. During the Celebración, participants will be challenged to creatively design, submit, and defend different group proposals on initiatives for implementation at community high school levels for purposes of inspiring youth to accelerate intellectual stimulation among young people, bolster Latino identity and culture in a modern and global context, and fosters the creation of new forms of literature, music, and art . Total anticipated training contact hours: 15 hrs; college fair and professional networking: 3 hrs; social and awards: 3 hrs.


THE GREAT DEBATE—The Great Debate of the National Hispanic Institute concentrates on engaging Latino high school youth on themes and challenges that have current and future implication on Latino quality of life. This year’s overall theme for the Great Debate will be on comparing the advantages and disadvantages of a new global Latino identity either built as a confederation or a consolidation of Latino cultures. All four categories of competition will revolve around this proposition. No major modifications are anticipated in the organization and structure of this event. Changes will be made in the judging phase to increase the rigor of the learning experience and trial-test an approach that will be incorporated into the 2012 Great Debate projects of the National Hispanic Institute. Total anticipated training contact hours: 18 hrs; college fair and professional networking: 3 hrs; social and awards: 3 hrs.


ANNUAL PROJECT ADMINISTRATOR CONFERENCE—The annual Project Administrators Conference will focus on a number of policy issues and concerns that impact NHI high school freshmen operations,2011-2012. Policy and topic discussions will include the following:

  • Protecting the financial security of participants and parents.
  • Ensuring quality and uniformity in training for Great Debate participants.
  • Reducing the liability risks for local projects and NHI.
  • Policy requirements for student and adult volunteers.
  • Trainer certification requirement for student coaches.
  • Growing NHI’s student legacy program.

Total anticipated contact hours: 3 hrs. Other PA functions will include the alumni awards banquet, and attending the student awards recognition event.


PARENT LEADERSHIP WORKSHOP—The Parent Leadership Workshop is designed to acquaint parents with NHI’s overall leadership philosophy, practices, and methods as well as ancillary servicesthat students receive as a result of their membership. Also included will be information on college planning and assessing parent and family life management needs. In addition to the workshop, parents visiting San Antonio for the first time will receive tourist information on various cultural andhistorical sites to visit, including area colleges and universities. During registration, parents will also receive program schedules in the event that they wish to observe any of the NHI youth programs in action, including attending the Alumni Awards Banquet andStudent Awards Ceremonies. Total anticipated contact hours: 3 hrs.


COLLEGE REGISTER PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT WORKSHOP—A two hour professional development workshop will be conducted by NHI to acquaint institutional members of the College Register regarding the work of the Institute and its youth leadership initiatives. High school and college programs will be presented, including schedules for the 2011-2012 program year. Also a special research project will be presented that describes Latino youth college trends and factors that make for the successful transition of Latino high school students to undergraduate studies. Also attending will be NHI’s Project Administrators who work in numerous local communities with college-bound Latino youth, both domestically and abroad. Total anticipated professional development hours: 2 hrs; total networking: 1.5 hrs; total college fair: 2.5 hrs.


AWARDS AND RECOGNITION—The National Hispanic Institute firmly believes in directing public recognition to both individuals and institutions with long and distinguished service to the Latino community as well as young people from among its participants who are indicating exemplary performance in their preparation for future leadership roles. The following awards are presented at Celebración in San Antonio.

  • High School and College Awards—NHI makes special provisions to recognize high school and college students for outstanding achievement. These include the following:

    • Various category awards will be presented to participants in the National Great Debate who demonstrate the highest levels of readiness in responding to the selected proposition of the Celebración thematic challenge of proposing a confederation or consolidation of Latino nationalities from a global perspective.
    • A team award will be presented to the LDZ participants who are best prepared to craft, argue, and defend proposals that addresses the Celebración challenge of fostering the intellectual development of high school age youth through community-based initiatives.
    • A team award will be presented to the CWS participants who are collaboratively able to craft, argue, and defend the best proposal that provides entering college freshmen with new innovative ideas of enriching their readiness for future leadership in the Latino community outside of their college career studies and traditional campus life.
    • Plaque awards will be presented to incoming CLN president and undergraduate student nominated to serve on the NHI board of trustees in addition to a team award for the best proposal on social entrepreneurship that can be adopted for implementation by newly organized NHI student chapters at undergraduate college levels nationwide and abroad.
    • An NHI Undergraduate Student of the Year is annually recognized for outstanding service and support as an individual who has provided sustained service through undergraduate studies and also demonstrates leadership by example.

  • NHI Alumni Awards—The impact and value of NHI’s work is best demonstrated through civic engagement by its former participants as well as the involvement of educators and institutions of higher learning that appreciate and value the organization’s mission and purpose. These awards categories are as follows:
    • High School Educator of the Year is recognized for sustained involvement and encouraging school youth to attend leadership programs of the National Hispanic Institute.
    • College of the Year is annually recognized for sustained support of the National Hispanic Institute and its leadership programs in a host capacity.
    • Distinguished Alumni Awards are given to three individuals who have achieved recognized status as the following categories: a) Leaving a legacy of contribution that continues to bolster and further the work of the National Hispanic Institute; b) Having a significant impact in improving Latino quality of life through business or public service; c) Demonstrating engagement in Latino community through active and sustained participation.
    • Hall of Fame Award is given to an individual who is not an alumnus of the National Hispanic Institute but has made significant contributions towards its advancement through sustained service, special gifts/contributions, and involvement.
    • Lifetime Achievement Award is given to an individual in the Latino community who has demonstrated lifetime involvement in advancing Latino quality of life through literature, science, music, education, medicine, civic service, religious life, public service, or other form of meaningful engagement.


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