The University of New Mexico (UNM) is partnering with the National Hispanic Institute (NHI) to host the statewide 2024 Dionisio “Dennis” Chavez New Mexico Lorenzo de Zavala (LDZ) Youth Legislative Session for high school students.

UNM Main Campus will host over 150 top students engaged in a week-long leadership experience on June 9-16, 2024 to highlight Chavez’s legacy. Program funding is made possible by the New Mexico Legislature and is introduced by State Sen. Michael Padilla.

Chavez served in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1931-1935 and in the U.S. Senate from 1935-1962 and was the first Hispanic person elected to a full term in the Senate and the first senator born in New Mexico.

The NHI LDZ Legislative Session is an eight-day creative learning program for 10th and 11th-grade students soon to attend college. Session participants engage in active learning by playing key leadership roles that focus on community engagement and legislation. Students collaborate and community-build with other high school leaders and in turn foster personal, business, and professional skills. They will develop skills in asset-based community equity building and engage in a weeklong quest to envision the future of New Mexico.

Eligible applicants are New Mexico high school sophomores and juniors who maintain a 3.2 grade point average and are enrolled in a college-bound curriculum. Along with a $25 application fee, the program requires a recent report card or high school transcript and completion of a release form by parent or guardian. There are few additional costs, other than transportation to and from UNM in Albuquerque.

Space is limited. This eight-day residential program at UNM is available on a first come, first serve basis. Applicants are accepted monthly and confirmed a space by March, 2024. Once accepted, selected students who meet the criteria will visit the Capitol in Santa Fe and be named Dennis Chavez Scholars. Those interested should contact Director Gloria de León at, 512-587-3465, or the National Hispanic Institute offices at 512-357-6137. A quick application link is available here. To download a flyer, click here

Co-sponsors of the program include ENLACE New Mexico, a statewide collaborative of programs centered around underrepresented families and community engagement, the UNM Health Sciences Office for Diversity, Equity & Inclusion, and UNM El Centro de la Raza, a resource center committed to improving the transition, retention, and graduation of UNM students.

For more information and to register, visit Dionisio "Dennis" Chavez New Mexico LDZ.