USF Hosts National Hispanic Institute’s LDZ Youth Session

June 26, 2018 | Joliet, Ill.

Attendees of the NHI event gather during a break on the University of St. Francis Quad.

The University of St. Francis (USF) is proud to be the host of the National Hispanic Institute’s (NHI) national Lorenzo de Zavala Youth Legislative Session (LDZ). The inaugural program will be hosted at the university June 24-July 1, 2018, through a partnership that allows NHI to keep one of its flagship LDZ programs in the Chicago metro area. According to the LDZ website, the program is designed for high school sophomores and juniors. It is a leadership experience that will inspire students to navigate, manage and create large organizations by taking charge of their own youth government and proposing future community policies and projects.

Eric Wignall, vice president of admissions, enrollment and marketing for the University of St. Francis, expressed excitement to be working with NHI.

“We welcome the chance to have a group of highly motivated students come onto our campus,” he said.

Regarding the LDZ program in particular, Wignall also noted, “There’s never been a better time to learn about the legislative process, to be involved, to figure out how to be a leader in the community. This is a fantastic way for students to get their hands on what they’ll be needing to do 10 years from now, 15 years from now, when they lead and go into jobs. It’s fantastic for us to be able to support students to do this, to learn how the legislative process works, how to plan, how to give presentations, how to follow-up and how to make things happen. That’s gigantic. They’re going to learn so much from this experience.”

“I am excited about the opportunity to put the National LDZ in a new landscape,” said NHI Senior Vice President Julio Cotto, who oversees the organization’s LDZ programs. “USF in Joliet gives us an opportunity to be in a welcoming, safe, and growing community that is still within reach of the Chicago metropolis. However, beyond the gorgeous landscape and top-notch facilities, the University of Saint Francis, as a ‘university with a mission,’ presents us with an environment designed for young people to explore their purpose beyond career, their values, their beliefs, and their overall contribution to the world. USF is much more than a career certifying institution and that’s why the embrace and partnership goes beyond a practical and doable transaction.”

Both Wignall and Eric Ruiz, USF’s director of undergraduate admissions, note that USF —being a college campus within easy reach of Chicago but with its own distinct dynamic—will give the National Hispanic Institute’s LDZ attendees a college campus experience they simply can’t get in the day-to-day world of high school.

Founded in 1920, the University of St. Francis, in Joliet, Ill, is a Catholic, Franciscan university that serves 4,100 students nationwide; offering bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral programs in the arts and sciences, business, education, nursing and social work.  There are more than 49,000 USF alumni across the globe.

University of St. Francis. Bigger thinking. Brighter purpose.