Cisneros Scholars
Cisneros Scholars

Cisneros Scholars

Every year, approximately 10 students are chosen from the incoming class at GW to be Cisneros scholars based on academic achievement, demonstrated commitment to service, and potential for leadership in service of 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. 

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.

Students interested in the program, should note it in their application to GW. Cisneros scholars are informed of their selection when they are notified of their admission to GW.







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 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. 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 leaders in service of the Latino community. 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 communications.

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 Familias

As part of the Cisneros Institute mission to help foster community and mentorship, 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!

Cisneros Undergraduate Research Fellowship

The Cisneros Undergraduate Research Fellowship was created to financially support outstanding undergraduate students interested conducting research on an issue facing Latinos/Hispanics or the Latino/Hispanic Community. This fellowship is a competitive program that provides undergraduate students with stipends to effectively carry out an individual research project under the supervision of a faculty mentor. Students are offered the opportunity to employ the skills learned in their field of study to bring to fruition a well-defined research project that addresses a particular issue of relevance to Hispanics/Latinos. Basic research, research-driven community action, evaluation, and intervention projects will be considered for this fellowship.

Research experiences of this nature expose students to some of the challenges of conducting research and provide insight on the depth of students' education. These experiences also strengthen students’ applications for nationally competitive fellowships to graduate and professional school. Engaging in first-hand research also helps students develop the necessary skills to succeed in a professional career.

All research projects must be undertaken with regular input and direction from the faculty mentor. It is expected that the student and mentor will discuss their expectations regarding the time commitments of both parties, scope of research, and anticipated results (e.g., papers, presentations, performances, etc.) and arrive at a mutually agreeable understanding.

Learn More    



The Cisneros Scholarship is for four years, but Cisneros Scholars are part of the Cisneros familia forever. Scholars leave GW with the skills and expertise to go on to make an impact in their communities through a broad range of industries and through continued study. 

Inaugural Scholars

Before the creation of the Cisneros Scholars program as it exists today, six outstanding students were awarded with the Cisneros Scholarship between 2010 - 2018.

Class of 2020
Class of 2021
Class of 2022
Class of 2023