Washington Youth Leadership Seminar

The Washington Youth Leadership Seminar (WYLS) is LNESC’s annual leadership development program that brings together approximately 50+ future rising Latino leaders from across the U.S. and Puerto Rico to Washington, DC and immerses them in a specific public policy area. Students undergo leadership training, advocacy training, and peer bonding exercises, resulting in a tightknit group of leaders engaged and energized to make a difference in the Latino community.


WYLS is a life-changing opportunity for Latino high school students in our nation’s most underserved communities to meet first-hand with the country’s most influential decision makers. The seminar includes a Capitol Hill Day whereby the newly trained student advocates meet with Members of Congress and discuss the changes they want to see made for their communities. While in the nation’s Capital, students also work with leaders from corporate America and other public and private institutions to provide input on issues important to the Latino community.

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, this year's WYLS will be held virtually on September 23 - September 25, 2021.

The 2021 Washington Youth Leadership Seminar is currently open. Applicants must complete the online application by 6:00 pm (ET) August 25, 2021. Incomplete applications will not be accepted. 

WYLS Participant Requirements:

  • Must be sponsored by an LNESC Center or LULAC Council

  • Must be an incoming high school junior or senior

  • Must have high academic achievement and extracurricular involvement

  • Must demonstrate leadership and be actively involved in extracurricular activities

  • Must submit a copy of a high school transcript 


*Previous WYLS participants are not eligible to apply.

Student survey highlights


WYLS changes the lives of its participants, cultivating and inspiring future Hispanic leaders. 

Ninety-seven percent (97%) of students reported they would likely get involved in their local communities after attending WYLS.  


One hundred percent (100%) of students surveyed stating they would share what they learned at the WYLS with peers and friends in their community.


Ninety-one percent (91%) of students reported feeling more connected to the policy-making process following the workshops.


One hundred percent (100%) of participants agreed with the statement: “I gained valuable skills by participating in the Washington Youth Leadership Seminar.”


WYLS 2019 Testimonials


“Thank you so much LNESC for the opportunity you gave me to participate in this program this year!”

“My experience at WYLS was one that cannot be topped. The chaperons and speakers were both intelligent and encouraging of inquiry. For those who want to improve their public speaking, learn how to be an effective leader, and explore the public policy process in the real world (must) definitely apply to be a part of this seminar.”

“I really enjoyed this experience and I’m really grateful for having been given the honor and opportunity of being in DC.”

“This was a highly informative and enriching program on so many levels, being able to have unique interactions with other students across the US was a lot of fun and I’m excited to use what I learned in college.”


-2019 WYLS Participants 



Memorable moments from previous Washington Youth Leadership Seminars:


 The Washington Youth Leadership Seminar is in partnership with: