About the Youth Awards

  • The Youth Awards program is presented by the Hispanic Heritage Foundation (HHF) and its sponsors. Celebrating its 18th year the Youth Awards honors Latino high school students across the nation, we believe the talented Youth Awardees we honor each year are the leaders of today, not tomorrow and their impact will be felt in the classrooms, communities and the workforce. Join us as we identify, inspire and prepare our students to meet America’s priorities.
  • The 2016 online application is available until October 2, 2016, and will be open to students graduating Latino high school seniors in the spring/summer of 2017 who maintain an unweighted 3.0 GPA. or higher. Students can apply to various award categories.

Identify, Inspire and Prepare

  • Award ceremonies are held at local colleges and universities. Recipients will be honored during 10 regional ceremonies with an audience of influential community and business leaders. Recipients will also receive grants ($1,000 - $3,000) for their education or to fund an idea or project to impact their communities. Attendance to the regional ceremony is absolutely mandatory.
  • All recipients are also eligible to be selected as a National recipient. National recipients receive an all-expense paid trip to be recognized at the National Youth Awards ceremony. More information on the National Youth Awards will be posted on our website and be mentioned during all regional ceremonies.
  • After receiving the awards, the students – and the applicants who weren’t selected – will be funneled into the LOFT program which provides leadership trainings, mentorships, internships/fellowships and symposia in focused in priority fields and industries. To learn more about LOFT please visit


  • Three recipients are selected for each category Gold, Silver and Bronze medallions are awarded in each of the award regions. Please read the descriptions below. During the application process you will be asked to select the category that best relates to your future career plans or interest. You will be allowed to enter submissions to more than one category.

Business Sponsored by BBVA Compass

  • For applicants who express an interest in the field of business, business management, business development, and entrepreneurship.

Community Service Sponsored by Colgate Palmolive

  • For community-minded students who have demonstrated excellence in volunteerism and leadership and who are committed to making a difference in their community.

Education Sponsored by Southwest Airlines

  • For applicants who express an interest in becoming teachers, guidance counselors, coaches or academic administrators or for applicants interested in education public policy.

Engineering Sponsored by ExxonMobil

  • This category is for applicants who plan to pursue a career in the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) fields. With an emphasis on technology, innovation and engineering.

Healthcare and Science Sponsored by CVS Health

  • This category is for applicants who express an interest in all branches of medicine. This includes students that want to pursue a career as a doctor, nurse, pharmaceutical industry, healthcare administration and public health. This category also is for applicants who express an interest in all branches of science. It also includes students who are interested in science that has direct impact with the environment.

Mathematical Sciences Sponsored by PwC

  • This category is for applicants who interested in pursuing a major or minor in mathematical science concentrations, such as accounting, actuarial science, business analytics, computer science, and other disciplines of mathematics. 

Innovation & Technology Sponsored by Entertainment Software Assosiation

  • This category is for applicants who express an interest in computer programming, video game development, as well as environmental, medical, industrial, or technological innovation.

Parent Award Sponsored by Learning Heroes

  • Hispanic Heritage Youth Awardees can nominate their mother, father or grandparent who has had a significant impact in his or her academic success. A youth awardee will present the Learning Hero award to his/her parent at each of the local youth award ceremonies and make remarks. A special award will be presented by the youth awardee to the winning parent.

Regions/Award Ceremonies

  • The Youth Awards are divided into 10 different regions across the country students are encouraged to apply to their closest region. If selected, attendance to the regional ceremony is mandatory. No costs to attend these events will be covered by HHF. Other regions may be added. Please check the web site for more information.

Youth Awards ceremonies will be taking place in the following cities:

  • Chicago | Loyola University | Nevember 03, 2016
  • Dallas | Southern Methodist University | November 15, 2016
  • Houston | The Health Museum Houston | Thursday, November 17, 2016
  • Los Angeles | California State Los Angeles | November 28, 2016
  • Northern California | Stanford University | November 29, 2016
  • Phoenix | Arizona University The College of Medicine | December 01, 2016
  • New York | City University of New York | December 05, 2016
  • Atlanta | Georgia Tech | December 06, 2016
  • Miami | University of Miami | December 08, 2016
  • Washington, D.C | TBD

Frequently Asked Questions:
Who can apply/do I qualify for the Award?

  • To participate in the Hispanic Heritage Youth Awards you must be:
  • A high school student graduating in the spring/summer of 2017
  • Planning to enroll in college in the fall 2017
  • Identify as Hispanic/Latino
  • Minimum 3.0 GPA (on a 4.0 scale) or 7.5 (on a 10.0 scale)
  • Attend regional ceremony in your region. Attendance is mandatory and HHF will not cover any cost of attending
  • Be a US Citizen/Permanent Resident/ qualify under DACA
  • Can I apply if I am getting my GED?
  • Yes. If you are under the age of 21 and are receiving your GED, you are eligible for the Hispanic Heritage Youth Awards.

What does HHF consider to be Hispanic/Latino ancestry?

  • If you or one of your parents can directly trace your ancestry to Latin America, Spain, Portugal, Brazil, the Spanish speaking Caribbean or the Philippines, then you qualify for this award.

What is an un-weighted GPA?

  • AP and IB classes give greater point weight to their grades which can result in GPAs over a 4.0. For the purpose of the Youth Awards, we look at unweighted averages. This levels the playing field for students whose schools do not offer many AP or IB classes.

What if my school does not use a 4 point grading scale?

  • Some schools use a 10 point grading scale. A 7.5 GPA is equivalent to 3.0

Can I apply to more than one region?

  • No. You can only apply to one region. Attendance is absolutely mandatory for all selected students to receive their grants. Can I apply to more than one category? Yes. The more categories you apply to, the more chances you have of winning. Please note you can only apply to ONE region.

What is considered a complete application?

In order for your application to be complete we must have the following

  • Completed Youth Awards Application
  • Letter of Recommendation
  • GPA Verification form
  • Your letter of recommendation and GPA verification will need to be uploaded and your application submitted in order for it be considered complete.
  • My school won't release my GPA verification form or letter of recommendation to me. What should I do?
  • If your school will only mail GPA verification forms or letters of recommendation directly to colleges and grant giving organizations, then ask them to mail them to us. Hispanic Heritage Foundation 9675 Main Street Suite D Fairfax, VA 22031
  • Documents can also be emailed to

When are Award Recipients Selected?

  • The Regional Award Recipients will be selected and informed in October, 2016. Regional Awards Ceremonies take place between Novembers – December 2016.
  • National Youth Award Recipients are announced in late December or early January.

Is this a one-time grant?

  • YES

How do we find out if we are chosen to receive a grant?

  • Selected recipients will be informed via phone and email in October 2016.
  • Students who are not selected will be notified by email in October 2016

What do Award Recipients Receive?

  • Regional recipients will receive education grants between $1,000 to $3,000 educational grant to use for their college education or to fund a community service effort.
  • National Youth Award recipients will receive a laptop computer and paid trip to the National Youth Awards Ceremony for them and a parent or guardian (Location TBD)

Required Materials
Letter of recommendation

  • This letter can be written by a teacher, coach, advisor, mentor, employer or someone who knows the applicant outside his/her family structure. Letter must include a brief description of relationship to applicant and a statement as to how the applicant exemplifies excellence in his/her chosen award category, dedication to community service and why he/she is a role model. Letter should not exceed one page (typed please) and must include writer's name, title, address, phone number and email address. Letters of Recommendation must but uploaded to your application via our website.

GPA verification form

  • The GPA verification form can be found and downloaded throughout the application on this website. You will need to print out the form and take it to your school counselor to be filled out, signed, and stamped (if applicable). This form will also need to be uploaded to your application via our website. Sealed GPA verification forms must be mailed to: Hispanic Heritage Foundation 9675 Main St Suite D Fairfax, VA 22031

Contact Us

Franklin Sorto | 202-558-9473 |