Caminos al Futuro

Caminos al Futuro is a fully-funded summer scholarship program that engages high-achieving juniors (rising seniors) from U.S. high schools in a residential academic leadership development program at the George Washington University. This program is part of the Cisneros Hispanic Leadership Institute sponsored by GW alumnus Gilbert Cisneros and his wife, Jacki.

This program seeks to cultivate leadership potential and scholarship in rising seniors who desire to shape issues impacting Hispanic and Latino communities. Caminos al Futuro scholars will get a chance to examine the political, economic and social transformations impacting Hispanic and Latino communities nationwide by:

  • Conducting research, ­­­­­­content, and media analyses
  • Engaging in collaborative projects
  • Engaging with leaders who help Hispanic and Latino communities in the United States
  • Attending site visits and performing community service

Download the program flyer in Spanish (PDF)

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Program Highlights

Caminos al Futuro students in a classroom setting

A Cross-Disciplinary Course

Participants enroll in an undergraduate course in which they will examine political, economic and social transformations impacting Hispanic and Latino communities.

Cross-disciplinary themes include political leadership and advocacy, civic engagement and public service, social entrepreneurship and change and international diplomacy. Students earn three undergraduate credits. This course will be taught by Elizabeth Vaquera.

Meet the Instructor
Students listening to a panel for the College Success Series

College Success Series

Students will participate in co-curricular and social programs that prepare them for the admissions process and the college experience.

The series includes sessions on the admission to selective colleges, college selection strategies, majors and careers, university resources, and the student experience.

Photo of students meeting with mentor

Experiential Leadership Programs

Through academic discourse, meetings with leaders and policy makers, service learning, and site visits around Washington, D.C., participants will develop an applied understanding of critical issues facing Hispanic and Latino communities as they prepare for their roles as future leaders.

Students will have the opportunity to visit places such as the United States Congress, the D.C. Mayor’s Office on Latino Affairs (OLA), the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Human Rights, embassies, and national Hispanic organizations centered on issues of community, advocacy and culture. Participants will also have the opportunity to network at special events that connect them with GW’s community, mentors, and distinguished leaders in Washington, D.C.

Pre-College students at a Washington Nationals baseball game

Social & Recreational Opportunities

Summer in the nation’s capital is a one-of-a-kind experience. Participants will enjoy social events, trips, and activities during the evenings and weekends that will also include opportunities for students to engage with high school students participating in GW’s Pre-College programs.

Students will have the opportunity to visit area sites such as the National Zoo, Smithsonian Institutions, the John F. Kennedy Center for Performing Arts, historic neighborhoods such as Georgetown and U Street, baseball games at Nationals Park and more.

See more about life on campus and in D.C.


  1. Leadership development and in-field activities with an intensive course focused on leadership across disciplines

  2. Connections and networking with GW faculty, students, leaders and policy makers and access to the intellectual, government and international resources of the nation’s capital

  3. Expanded opportunities for community-based involvement through service learning

  4. An understanding of the college experience, career options, and strategies necessary for success at selective universities

  5. Enhanced critical thinking, public speaking, persuasive writing, and advocacy skills

  6. Three undergraduate credits, paid course and program-related activities, room, board, roundtrip airfare to Washington, D.C. and materials

  7. Priority consideration for a Cisneros scholarship if admitted to GW

Participants should plan accordingly for discretionary spending such as personal items, laundry, and access to university health services (approximate $25 per visit), if needed.


November 15, 2016: Application opens
March 1, 2017: Application deadline

Admitted Students: See the Admitted Students page for enrollment documents and additional resources.

The program application is open to students who currently reside in the U.S., including, but not limited to, U.S. citizens. Students who are here on a sponsored visa are ineligible.

Students currently enrolled in their junior year (rising seniors) are eligible to apply. Admission to the program is competitive and space is limited. Applicants will be evaluated on the basis of their academic performance and record of service and leadership within Hispanic or Latino communities. All selected students will receive a full scholarship that covers roundtrip transportation to Washington, D.C., and the cost of attendance.  

A completed application will include all application parts as well as:

  • Two letters of recommendation (including one from an instructor).

  • An essay addressing the following prompt:

    • GW values community engagement, service and diversity. Please write a 350-word essay on how you've demonstrated service and leadership in the Hispanic or Latino communities and how participating in this program would improve your leadership skills. Please also be sure to note your extracurricular activities demonstrating leadership and community service within the Hispanic and/or Latino communities. If there are other factors you wish us to consider as we review your application, such as financial need or if you are the first in your family to attend college, please also indicate that in your response.