2019 Summer Programs theme, Governance, up in latest podcast
This article, by NHI Senior Vice President Julio Cotto, discusses the Governance theme that will be central to this year’s NHI Summer Programs (as covered in the latest NHI Podcast). It’s a recommended listen for all students preparing to attend one of this summer’s NHI programs.
The NHI Podcast Network is back up and running, with a recent release of a conversation involving NHI President and Founder Ernesto Nieto, Senior Vice President Chris Nieto and I. NHI released the theme around community and societal governance earlier this year. In the podcast, we discuss the definitions and explanations of governance as a term and concept, and dive deep into why this is a relevant theme for youngsters to engage.
This past year, NHI alumni have ascended to national public service roles, putting a spotlight on them in decision-making roles. In an earlier podcast episode, Ernesto and I touched base with Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez about her Congressional campaign while it was still in progress. She points to the governance experience of the LDZ as being pivotal in setting her up for what would be her eventual election coupled with national media attention. Her leadership is discussed in the episode, as she is attempting to disrupt and help evolve the way we look at our civic leaders, as well as what is or should be important. At the same time, they discuss how NHI alumna and Xochitl Torres Small of New Mexico (who also was successful in her Congressional run) also made an impact, leading on border issues being put on a national platform during her initial few months in Congress. They are among numerous NHI alumni walking the halls of Congress in a variety of roles — including Carlos Paz, a NHI Distinguished Alumnus and the 2018 NHI Person of the Year, who is Director of Hispanic Media and Press Secretary in Senator Chuck Schumer’s office. Carlos was also interviewed in a prior podcast episode, and points to NHI learning as vital to anyone looking to create real change and progress in their field, community, or country.
Beyond alumni serving in public service roles and in government, the interview also turns to governance as something important for all community leaders to understand deeply. Whether in the context of governance in your family, church, or school district, it’s important to understand how so many real policy issues are felt at the most local of levels. In exploring this, this summer’s NHI participants will be charged with examining also the values and beliefs that inform those who currently govern us. They will engage in dialogue about the values, beliefs, and influences that community leaders of the future will need to live by. The nation is in a very divided and tense moment; therefore, students are living and experience a debate over governance in real times. The theme is intended to help them critically examine what is under the surface of our leaders’ decisions, agendas, and points of view, but also, to determine what values young NHIers prefer and expect.
Overall, governance is central to all those in leadership, and leadership is the ultimate goal of the NHI experience. The interview sets out to help student not only on a content level, but also to help them start to explore or re-examine their own take on governance and how they want to make a future leadership impact.