Alumni Board of Directors Launches
Elba Gonzalez sees NHI as an organization that “stays with you your whole life.” And those who were inspired in high school by NHI summer programs have options to be involved, in college and beyond, in various ways within the organization.
Over the years, alumni have generously given back by volunteering in the preparation of students for (and helping run) those same summer programs they attended five, 10, 20 and even 30 years ago.
And now, there’s another avenue for alumni involvement: the NHI Alumni Association. The association is in the process of establishing regional chapters and also has a newly-formed Alumni Board of Directors.
The board was envisioned by Gonzalez and its other founders (Gloria de Leon, Judy Cabaza, Laura Gomez, Andres Ramirez, JP Garcia and Reyna Hernandez) as a working board positioned to help NHI through its current and future growth. The core group of founders has already had initial meetings, and plans a new board training on Saturday, July 2 at Our Lady of the Lake University in San Antonio, to coincide with the Texas Star Great Debate and the 20th Anniversary celebration of NHI at San Antonio.
Gonzalez’s hope is to assemble a board that can provide a variety of in-kind services to move NHI forward, and they’re also leading efforts to connect alumni through regional social mixers, social media channels, including a designated Facebook page, and a forthcoming 360Alumni website which will launch this summer. The board will also oversee the nominating process for the Distinguished Alumni Awards, given annually as part of Celebracion.
“Our most pressing need is for our professional alumni to reconnect and re-engage,” Gonzalez said of their efforts. “I see the leadership training from our programs in every profession, in every region of this country represented by our alumni community. They are highly engaged, educated and accomplished individuals. I want them to come back home to NHI and help us grow as an organization and to help us contribute to the development of even more young Latino leaders.”
“As we participate in regional socials for our alumni community,” she added, “I am amazed at how easily ideas flow amongst new and old friends who are united and committed to cultivating leaders in our community. When our alumni reconnect with one another, anything is possible. I see these brilliant minds mobilize around the idea of a dynamic alumni association and they are so ready to get involved with us again.”
The board, as currently assembled, includes a network of NHI alumni from Austin (Marisa Limón, Rene Lara, Celina Zapata, Celso Baez III, Celeste Surface, Laura Gomez), San Antonio (Victoria Shoemaker, Dr. Willie Cantu, Maricela Guerra), the Rio Grande Valley (Jose Cruz, Marisol Flores), Dallas-Fort Worth (Andres Ramirez), El Paso (Omar Yanar), Houston (Elvis Cavazos), New York City (Dr. Daniel Tamayo, Rachel Basoco), Kansas City (Michelle Ramirez, Roberto Lopez), Phoenix (Roberta Armendariz), Albuquerque (Carlos Sanchez), and Las Cruces (Crucita Medina). The board is assisting with fostering the growth of these regional chapters and hopes that as alumni re-connect and re-engage that more chapters will form.
Those interested in joining a regional alumni chapter, serving as a regional alumni representative in another town or region, or being their LDZ class representative should contact Elba directly via email.