The Hispanic Heritage Youth Awards was founded in 1998 by the Hispanic Heritage Foundation.

Entering its 19th year, the Youth Awards honor Latino high school seniors who excel in the classroom and community and for their focus in various categories including: Business & Entrepreneurship, Community Service, Education, Healthcare & Science, Media & Entertainment, Science, Technology, and Engineering, & Mathematics (STEM)

Three awards for each student category are given in each of the different regions across the country. In addition, one Regional Award winning student from each category will be selected as the National Youth Award recipient in his or her respective category.

Youth Awards begin with a high-profile, national search through a celebrity-based multimedia campaign that includes partnerships with more than 5,000 high schools and hundreds of colleges, media, elected officials, businesses and organizations. Approximately 10,000 applications are collected from qualified juniors who are honored as seniors in the fall.

Students have an average GPA of 3.5 or higher, and are promoted as role models to inspire others and shatter negative stereotypes. Youth Awardees can receive grants for education or community projects to encourage social innovation and entrepreneurship.


This year the Youth Awards regions are:

  • Los Angeles, CA – Nov. 28, California State University
  • Chicago, IL – Nov. 28, Loyola University – Chicago
  • San Jose, CA – Nov. 29, Stanford University
  • New York, NY – Nov. 29, The New School
  • Phoenix, AZ – Nov. 30, University of Arizona
  • Dallas, TX – Dec. 5, University of Texas – Arlington
  • Houston, TX – Dec. 11, Rice University
  • Washington DC. – Dec. 11, Arent Fox LLP
  • Atlanta, GA – Dec. 13, Georgia Tech University
  • Miami, FL – Dec. 15, Florida International University


  • Must be graduating from an accredited high school in the Spring of 2018
  • Must have an un-weighted 3.0 GPA on a 4.0 scale
  • Be of Hispanic Heritage including (includes Spain, Brazil, Philippines)
  • Planning to enroll full-time in a bachelor’s degree program at an accredited higher education institution in the fall directly after your graduation from high school
  • If selected, attendance to the regional ceremony is mandatory. Travel to the ceremony will be at the recipient’s expense
  • Completed online application including a letter of recommendation, transcript and essay questions
  • Be a Permanent Resident, DACA, U.S. Citizen or Eligible Non-Citizen