In 1978, a small group of Hispanic members of Congress established the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute (CHCI) to develop the next generation of Latino leaders with a clear vision of a strong America made possible with the many contributions of educated and civic-minded Latino leaders engaged in and contributing to all aspects of U.S. society. This vision was founded on three cornerstones for success: education attainment and college access, leadership development programs in D.C., and access to a powerful network of Latino leaders in the United States.
Today CHCI is the premier Hispanic nonprofit and nonpartisan 501(c)(3) leadership development organization in the country firmly rooted in the same three mission cornerstones laid by our founders:
Educate. Empower. Connect.
By promoting education attainment and college access, providing unmatched career development experience, and offering award-winning leadership programs that connect program participants to the most powerful network of U.S. leaders, CHCI’s mission is unwavering and more powerful and critical than ever before in our nation’s history. The success of our more than 8,500 young Latinos served across the country, will determine the nation’s success in this century.
In a nation where one in three children are Latino and more than 90 percent of Latino children are native born, success must include prepared Latino leaders. The young Latino demographics fuel the new projections from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, which predict that Hispanics will account for 74 percent of the growth in the nation's labor force from 2010 to 2020, a much higher rate than in the previous two decades. CHCI’s effort to develop Latino leaders directly impacts the future workforce and our nation’s ability to meet the workforce challenges of the 21st century.
With its comprehensive approach to leadership development, CHCI directly impacts the lives of nearly 1,600 students and young professionals each year through its fellowships, congressional internships, scholarships, Ready to Lead (R2L®) college readiness program, and R2L NextGen program, a dramatic increase from the 46 students served in 1999.
CHCI programs have helped change the face of Washington, D.C. by creating a pipeline of Latino talent and opening the halls of Congress for Latino students to intern and work in government and policy. CHCI offers paid 2-3 month internships and 9-month fellowships for Latino students and college graduates from across the country. The majority of fellows and interns are first generation to go to college and from families with incomes under $45,000.
EDUCATE - Educational Achievement and College Access
In 2012 CHCI served more than 350,000 through our online Education Center, home to our college access and career development resources including our Directory of Scholarships, Internships, and Fellowships now in its 6th edition, through our Ready to Lead (R2L) college prep empowerment workshops, and through our High School Latino Leaders in D.C. program.
We awarded 150 cash awards to needy students in 2012, bringing our total investment, since the scholarship program's inception in 2001, to nearly $4.5 million in the Latino community, including $800,000 worth of lap top computers and software to community college and first year undergraduate scholarship recipients.
CHCI’s R2L college readiness workshops served nearly 1,300 high school students in eight cities across the country. And, in 2012, CHCI expanded its R2L NextGen program, doubling the number students from 20 to 40 who traveled to Washington from cities across the nation for a one week, life-changing leadership and educational experience.
EMPOWER - Leadership Development Programs in Our Nation’s Capital
In 2012, CHCI served the largest number of Congressional interns ever, 67, across its three sessions throughout the year and CHCI’s 2012-2013 Fellowship Program served 22 college graduates, including eight Graduate Fellows. Our premier programs provide unmatched leadership, professional and personal development curriculum to participants and most importantly include monthly stipends, housing in the case of the interns, and round-trip airfare vouchers.
CONNECT - Convening Leaders to Mentor and Showcase Positive Images and Contribution of Latinos
Our proven leadership development model includes providing unmatched exposure for our young Leaders to our extensive network of national leaders in government, public policy, corporate America, non-profit organizations, and labor. This instant and powerful network is vital to the success of these future leaders.
A vital goal for CHCI is to promote a positive image and raise the visibility for the many contributions of Latinos to our great nation. Our main vehicle are our powerful and persuasive events throughout the year. In 2012, we held 53 events that touched more than 7,500 people plus another 1,800 across the globe in 80 countries that tuned in via our live webcasts. These events generated more than $4.1 million in direct support of our mission.
Our signature events are our annual Hispanic Heritage Month (HHM) events where nearly 4,900 gather for our Public Policy Conference and Annual Awards Gala. The CHCI Annual Awards Gala is the largest Latino gala in the nation, gathering more than 2,500 national leaders together to celebrate our achievements and help us award our highest honors, the CHCI Medallions of Excellence and the CHCI Chair's Award. Our reach during HHM through all of our channels was 7.2 million in 2012!
For 36 years, CHCI has educated, empowered, and connected strong, effective, and committed Latino leaders who are actively changing the economic and public policy landscape in the United States. In 2013 we honor this legacy as we celebrate Our Time: A Strong America. Join us in developing the next generation of Latino leaders to ensure a strong America for us all.