Continuing on its mission to bring immersive, in-person leadership education experiences to top Latino high school students, in order to develop the next generations of Latino leaders, the National Hispanic Institute will bring two of its Great Debate programs to Schreiner University in Kerrville, Texas, which began June 11.
“Schreiner University is an incredible partner to make this possible,” states Nicole Nieto, NHI’s Executive Vice President. "We are proud of the relationship we've built together around excellence in leadership education for our developing young leaders."
"It is an honor to partner with the National Hispanic Institute and host the Great Debate. National Hispanic Institute's programs develop future leaders for our state and nation and align with Schreiner's mission to prepare students for purposeful lives,” adds Mark C. Tuschak, Vice President for Student Recruitment, External Affairs, Marketing and Communications at Schreiner University. “We look forward to welcoming this year's Great Debate class.”
The Texas Great Debate is a special four-day event designed to bring together nearly 200 students representing major cities and regions throughout Texas including Austin, Corpus Christi, El Paso, Houston, North Texas, Rio Grande Valley, San Antonio, and Tip of Texas (Brownsville). Teams prepare for the Texas Great Debate toward the end of their freshman year and then compete individually while looking to bring each of their teams toward winning the coveted Silver Cup.
The Texas Star Great Debate, from June 16-21, will follow NHI’s six-day Great Debate format. About 100 students from throughout South Texas will be selected onto teams coached by college-age NHI alumni, and then train and ultimately compete in a series of speech and debate tournament categories.
NHI’s 2022 theme invites students to review historical approaches to community change in Latino communities and determine whether these continue to be the best practices in a modern, post-COVID era.
Great Debate students will be embarking on what is the first in a three-year series of leadership education programs designed to develop leaders from the ranks of top-performing Latino high school students who show leadership potential.
Two members of Congress and numerous other state and local government officials have graduated from NHI programs. The more than 100,000 alumni who have graduated from NHI programs also have emerged in civic leadership roles from a range of professional categories, including entrepreneurship, medicine, education and business.
“The Great Debate is a jumping-off point for students who are looking to become engaged with their communities and develop into well-rounded professionals and leaders,” affirms Nicole Nieto, NHI’s Executive Vice President. “Our top volunteers return to help younger NHI members use public speaking a means to achieve a personal voice on public matters that are important to our community. NHI employs a speech and debate tournament model to raise performance levels and to cultivate greater civic engagement in our youth.”
2022 will return the largest slate of summer programs for NHI since 2019; the non-profit organization met the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic through launching online versions of its three summer leadership programs, but will return to almost exclusively in-person programs this summer.
In addition to the Texas and Texas Star Great Debates, NHI will host three other in-person, on-campus Great Debate programs, along with three LDZ programs and a digital LDZx program (which allow students to practice public policy stills and extensive collaboration) plus two Collegiate World Series programs (which introduce students to Inquiry-Based Learning as well as helping them prepare for the college admission process).