This may be your first time completing an application for a selective program. Don't be intimidated! We have collected some tips to help make this process less confusing for you.
- Application Profile
- One Letter of Recommendation
- Completed Application
- Electronically signed Legal Agreement (which appears after you complete the entire application)
The application profile will ask for basic information such as your name, contact information, and information about your parents. The information you enter here will give you your username and password to the CHCI website. Make sure you enter everything correctly and use an email address that you have access to!
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Letter of Recommendation
We require one letter of recommendation from an individual who you worked closely with at school, in a community service setting, or a professional environment. An example of the appropriate persons to complete the form include: teachers, coaches, guidance counselors, school principals and assistant principals, religious leaders or youth organization program staff. This individual must be able to speak to your work ethic, character and leadership skills. A letter of recommendation should not come from a family member.
Once you provide and submit your recommender's name and contact information, an email will be sent to your recommender. They will then be instructed to log on to a website where they will be able to upload and submit their letter of recommendation. Make sure you input their email address correctly! If it is incorrect, they will not receive notification.
Tips for the letter of recommendation:
- Ask the right person. Make sure it's someone who knows you well and can talk about what kind of person you are.
- Ask early. Give them at least one month to complete the letter of recommendation. Remember, applications are due on Monday, April 8th, at 11:59 PM Eastern Standard Time!
- Explain the process. Let your recommender know they will receive an email from CHCI with a link to complete the recommendation. Make sure you get their correct email address.
CHCI requires that all High School Latino Leaders in DC applicants briefly answer three questions about the following topics: an issue of importance in your community, a challenge that you have faced, and how your Hispanic heritage has influenced who you are today. Each essay answers must not exceed 300 words and should address each topic within the question.
- For this essay, please a letter to your Member of Congress and address a policy issue of importance to you. Be sure to include why this issue is important to you, and describe possible solutions that could improve the problem. When possible, please include personal examples of how this issue has affected you or people that you know (Maximum 300 words).
- How your Hispanic heritage helped shaped the individual that you are today? Consider your family structure or history, community, educational, and cultural experiences, etc. (Maximum 300 words).
- Briefly describe an overwhelming challenge that you, a family member, or a friend faced. What happened? How did you/they respond? Did the situation improve as a result of your response? (Maximum 300 words).
We are looking for an essay that will help us know you better as a person and as a student. Your essays will be judged on how you are able to organize thoughts and express yourself, NOT on your opinions.
Tips for completing your essay:
- Be yourself. The selection committee wants to hear about what is important to YOU. There are no right or wrong answers, so do not write about what you think people will want to read - write about what is important to you.
- Edit carefully. Watch out for grammatical errors and typos. Have a teacher or counselor review your essay to help you catch mistakes and make sure it flows nicely.
- Share your story. Is there a reason why the issue you selected is important to you? Tell us why! Have you or someone you know been affected by the issue? Is it impacting your school or your community? Personal examples let the selection committee learn more about you. Back to the top
You will be asked to upload a copy of your transcript. Remember that a report card is not the same as a transcript. You will need to speak with your school counselor to find out the procedure for requesting a transcript at your high school.
You will need to scan a copy of your transcript to upload it to the application website. If your school does not have a scanner, please fax a copy of the transcript to 202-546-2143, Attention: High School Latino Leaders in D.C. Program.
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If you do not have a resume, you may upload a list of your extracurricular activities. However, it's a great time to start putting together your resume! This document – which tells the reader about your classes, activities, and any work experience you might have – will be critical in the college application process, and can also help you if you are looking for a part-time job.
This may sound intimidating, but it's not - you'll just verify that you told the truth on your application and understand who is eligible to participate.
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Still have questions? Contact us at programsR2L@chci.org or 202-543-1771.