Hispanic Youth Institute begins at SMU

DALLAS (June 14, 2011) – About 200 Latino high school students from Dallas, San Antonio, and other regions across the state will attend the third annual Dallas Hispanic Youth Institute, which will be hosted on Southern Methodist University’s campus. Starting June 15, the selected students will be attending the four-day, three-night college empowerment program of the Hispanic College Fund (HCF) in association with Southern Methodist University. Students were selected from a competitive admissions pool of more than 778 initial applicants based on essay responses, GPA, grade level, and leadership potential.

“The Hispanic Youth Institute has been incredibly successful nationwide and here, in Dallas, we have seen the number of applicants soar from year to year. Best of all, 99 percent of last year’s alumni agreed with the statement ‘I am going to college,’” said Esmeralda Sánchez, HCF’s director of the Hispanic Youth Institute, Dallas. “I have such high hopes for this program. We’re seeing great success so far and we hope to inspire the students to take an active role in their education, careers, and community.”

During the program, students will learn to overcome both real and perceived barriers to college access, attend college and career workshops, meet with college admissions officers, develop relationships with adult and near-peer mentors, learn about the importance of community service, and compete for $10,500 in scholarships.

“The Hispanic Youth Institute would not be possible without the overwhelming support received from the community and incredibly generous sponsors,” added Lydia Aranda, HCF’s director of corporate and foundation relations for the southwestern states. “Over 500 students, volunteers, community leaders, universities, and corporations have agreed to donate their time, money and expertise in order to facilitate our valuable workshops. Their interest in our educational program is essential in both keeping the program alive and in helping to facilitate a new educational outlook for our students.

Community Partners of the 2011 Dallas Hispanic Youth Institute include: Southern Methodist University, Dallas Independent School District, Carrollton-Farmers Branch Independent School District, Irving Independent School District and Dallas County Schools, Social Security Administration and Education is Freedom.

Sponsors of the 2011 Dallas Hispanic Youth Institute include: Aramark, Darden Restaurants Foundation, Lockheed martin, Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, Bank of America, DFW International Airport, Frito-Lay, ACS, Inc. – A Xerox Company, Ernst & Young, Parents Step Ahead/MillerCoors LIDERES, KPMG, Texas Instruments, The Montán Family, Badmus Law Firm, Mary Kay, Pinnacle Technology, USHCC, Comerica Bank, McDonald’s, General Motors, Nuevo Leon, and Taco Cabana.

National sponsors include: Bank of America, Darden Restaurants Foundation, National Nuclear Security Administration, and the Social Security Administration.

The Hispanic Youth Institute guides Hispanic students to achieve a college education, pursue a professional career, and commit to community service. Following the summer kick-off, all students will be enrolled in year-round programming through the Hispanic Youth Institute, a program of the Hispanic College Fund. The Hispanic Youth Institute provides ongoing education and motivation to reinforce the key themes of the program: college, career and community.


About the Hispanic College Fund:

Founded in 1993, the Hispanic College Fund is a non-profit organization based in Washington, D.C., with a mission to develop the next generation of Hispanic professionals. For 18 years, the Hispanic College Fund has provided educational, scholarship, and mentoring programs to students throughout the United States and Puerto Rico, establishing a career pipeline of talented and career-driven Hispanics.

The Hispanic College Fund annually awards millions of dollars, impacting thousands of students through high school to college to career. HCF has been recognized by USA Today as one of the nation’s top 25 charities and has twice received Charity Navigator’s top four-star rating for fiscal responsibility. In 2010, the College Board recognized HCF for program innovation.