Caminos al Futuro

  June 28 - July 17, 2020  

Caminos al Futuro is a fully-funded, selective pre-college and residential summer program for rising seniors in U.S. high schools offered by the Cisneros Hispanic Leadership Institute at the George Washington University, in Washington D.C.

During the 3-week intensive program, Caminos scholars examine the social, economic, and political transformations affecting the Hispanic/Latino community. Through lectures by university professors and expert leaders in their fields, scholars not only learn about pressing contemporary issues but also create their own project to bring change in their own communities.

Typical candidates have a record of outstanding academic ability and a demonstrated commitment to service and leadership within the Hispanic/Latino community.


To be considered for this program, your application must be submitted by our EXTENDED DEADLINE of March 7, 2020. No late applications will be accepted.  For instructions to apply to Caminos al Futuro, please scroll down to the "Admission" section of this webpage.

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Program Highlights

Caminos al Futuro students in a classroom setting

Academic Lecture Series

During the Academic Lecture Series, led by Dr. Elizabeth Vaquera, scholars learn about the political and social transformations affecting Latino communities nationwide by engaging in interactive lectures, discussion of academic readings, and conducting research. This is an undergraduate level course in which all the Caminos Scholars are expected to engage and analyze data about Latinos in the U.S. and in their own communities.

Meet the Instructor
Student collaborating together on a project for their writing workshop

Writing Workshop

Trey Johnston leads the Changing the Narrative Writing Lab (CTN). Focused on the art of writing to get into and to succeed in college, these workshops also guide the scholars through the process of creating and presenting awareness initiatives (Community Action Projects or CAP) on a current issue centered in their chosen Latino community, which is presented at the end of the three weeks. These writing workshops also incorporate discussion in regards to identity as well as how linguistics shapes modern-day interaction.

Meet the Instructor
Student speaking with Faculty member for College Prep Academy

College Prep Academy

George Washington’s University Admissions Specialists offer a series of workshops where scholars learn about what college and universities look for in college applications.

Some of the topics covered include:

  • What college and universities look for in your application
  • #CollegeAccess: The Road to a Higher Education
  • Scholarships
  • Building Your “College Timeline”
  • Navigating College as a First- Generation Latino/a/x Student
Student giving a presentation on their final research project as part of leadership development

Leadership Development Training

Caminos Scholars also participate in training focused on the development of their leadership potential. Topics covered in previous years include Networking, Storytelling, Self-Care in College and Imposter Syndrome. Students will have opportunities to practice their leadership skills through meetings with Hispanic leaders at nonprofit organizations, as well as in the public and private sectors.

Social & Recreational Opportunities

  • One-of-a-Kind Experience
    Caminos al Futuro students visiting the National Mall

    One-of-a-Kind Experience

    Summer in the nation’s capital is a one-of-a-kind experience. Caminos Scholars get to enjoy social events, trips, and activities during the evenings and weekends.

  • Monumental Activities
    Caminos al Futuro students taking a tour of the United State Capitol Building

    Monumental Activities

    Students 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.


  1. Three college credits
  2. Preparation for the college application process
  3. A college-level residential and academic experience
  4.  Improved analytical and critical thinking
  5. Leadership development grounded in Latino cultural competence
  6. Networking with public and private organizations and policymakers

Students who successfully complete Caminos al Futuro and are admitted to GW will receive consideration as Cisneros Scholars.


See the Pre-College Apply page for application instructions. In the Program Information section of the application, you must first select the "3-Week College Intensive" option, then choose "Caminos Al Futuro" from the options under course choices. The $50 fee will be waived for all Caminos al Futuro applicants.

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 Latinx communities. Caminos al Futuro is fully funded. All fees, transportation to and from  Washington DC, room and board, materials, and program-related activities are covered.


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

  • A letter of recommendation

  •  Academic transcript from the start of high school through Fall 2019. To streamline your application, please upload your academic transcript directly to the application before submitting.

  • Three essays addressing the following prompts (additionally, we ask that you incorporate any personal information, such as financial need or if you are the first in your
    family to attend college, in your essays if you wish for it to be considered in your application):

    1. At the Cisneros Hispanic Leadership Institute, we believe that leadership takes many forms - service, advocacy, involvement in student organizations, etc. How have you demonstrated a commitment to the Hispanic/Latinx community as a leader? What inspires you to lead? (400 words maximum)

    2. Caminos al Futuro means "paths to the future." How do you imagine your path through the next 5 years? Where do you see it heading toward or what stops are along the way? What kinds of obstacles might you encounter on it? Is there something particularly important that you bring with you on your path? (400 words max)

    3. What do you hope to gain from Caminos al Futuro?  (250 words maximum)

Contact Us

For questions about the application process, contact Summer & Non-Degree Programs.

For all other questions, contact [email protected].

Caminos Alumni Share their Experience

  • A Journey of Self-Exploration
    Caminos al Futuro students in a classroom setting

    A Journey of Self-Exploration

    “I feel more confident in applying to reach schools. I learned more about myself which led me to change my essays for college.”

  • An Engaging Summer Experience
    Caminos al Futuro students in a classroom setting

    An Engaging Summer Experience

    “Caminos was an amazing experience. In the beginning, I was very nervous because it was my first time traveling alone but as we got into the first week, it was awesome getting to know so many people from different states and different backgrounds. I also really enjoyed all the lecturers and sites we visited. Thank you for this experience.”