Cisneros Scholars

3 cohorts of Cisneros scholars stand together on steps outside the Hall of Government

Every year, approximately 10 students are chosen from the incoming class at GW to be Cisneros scholars based on academic achievement and a demonstrated commitment to service and leadership in the Latino community. Cisneros scholars take part in an innovative leadership development program throughout their entire undergraduate career that includes financial, academic and social support. Students interested in the program, should note it in their application to GW.

Cisneros scholars are part of a rich and immersive program that encourages university participation, community involvement and academic achievement. The Cisneros Institute supports Cisneros scholars beyond college to ensure paid internships and exposure to mentors and career coaches in the private and public sectors. Cisneros scholar cohorts are typically tight-knit groups who also participate as summer counselors and mentors for the Caminos al Futuro summer program for rising high school seniors. Caminos al Futuro alumni receive priority consideration to become Cisneros scholars if admitted to GW.

Cisneros scholars are informed of their selection when they are notified of their admission to GW.


Scholars by the Numbers 







All 7




Special Opportunities

Comunicadores for the Future Summer Internship Program

The Comunicadores for the Future internship program is an initiative in the Cisneros Hispanic Leadership Institute made possible by the generosity of Vanguard Communications and President and CEO, Maria Rodriguez (B.B.A, 1982).

Launched in conjunction with Vanguard’s 30th anniversary, the program funds six to nine-week internships at local nonprofit organizations in the D.C. metro area during the summer. Comunicadores receive a stipend, housing and mentorship, and participate in professional development sessions highlighting best PR and communications practices and general leadership skills.

This program is a response to the unique challenges that the Latino community faces in higher education, particularly first-generation students. Many are far away from home for the first time, and how to pay for things like tuition, board, food and transportation are constant worries. Unpaid internships, a valuable experience for college students preparing to enter the workforce, are not always an option for many Latino students. Comunicadores for the Future seeks to help bridge this gap.

Comunicadores for the Future furthers and builds on the mission of the Cisneros Institute to help, train and educate the next generation of Hispanic leaders. It is an investment in hope for a future of inclusion that reflects the growing diversity in this country and the critical role diverse voices play in the field of communication.

More about the program and about Vanguard can be found on Maria’s Blog.

Come back soon to see profiles on selected participants and programming.

GW Scholar Cohorts

Cisneros Scholars join a larger community of scholar cohorts at GW, including District Scholars, Trachtenberg Scholars, POSSE and Chicago Scholars. The cohorts come together for special activities before the kick-off of the academic year and combined programming throughout the year. 

Mentor Families
Cisneros Mentor Family of 4 female students stand together in front of the Smith Center

As part of the Cisneros Institute mission to help foster community and mentorship within the Hispanic/Latinx community, each Cisneros Scholar is assigned a mentor their first year. Mentors and mentees meet regularly and make up a larger familia that they can count on for social, academic and personal peer support.

Casa Cisneros: A Living & Learning Community

The Cisneros Institute also includes a living and learning community. A small group of Cisneros Scholars is selected each year to live in Casa Cisneros and acts as "hosts" for special events and bonding activities. Examples include: Día de los Muertos celebration, Celebración de Orgullo, mentor family dinners and movie nights!


Current Cisneros Scholars Cohorts


Class of 2026


Mariana Castro-Angel

Paola Chavez

Damian Galvan

Ahtziri Sofia Garcia-Herrera

Isabella Insignares


Jose Macias

Leialani Nunez

Jesus Veliz

Kimora Williams



Class of 2026 group photo


Class of 2025



Class of 2024



Class of 2023