NHCSL - National Hispanic Caucus of State Legislators rhina@nhcsl.org 202 434 8070
NHCSL is the preeminent organization serving and representing the interests of Hispanic state legislators from all states, commonwealths, and territories of the United States. Our mission is to serve as a catalyst for joint action on issues of common concern to all segments of the Hispanic community; a forum for information exchange and member networking; an institute for leadership training; a liaison with sister U.S. NHCSL - National Hispanic Caucus of State Legislators http://nhcsl.org/img/layout/logo.png US United States Washington 20001 444 North Capitol Street, NW, Suite 40

JSM Scholarship 2017

NHCSL Announces the 2017 John S. Martínez Scholarship Recipients


Esperanza Ayala
Arizona State University

It is the strength behind the calm that I feel garners the respect and makes those around her stop and pay attention.  Esperanza Ayala will be a tremendous advocate for children and the state of Arizona.” – Andrea Wolochuk


Yulieth Velez
University of California Davis

“Yulieth is one of those rare students who combines superior academic ability and determination, with great leadership, depth of character, and kindness.  It is simply astounding to see her many accomplishments, knowing the obstacles she has overcome in her life (in Stockton, CA).” –Craig Nash


Paola Patricia Chavez Arroyo
University of Colorado Boulder

“I have watched Paola in many endeavors she has challenged herself to take on.  In every prospect she pursues, Paola doesn’t just participate – she masters the opportunity….. She is also an entrepreneur (Tax-Help Colorado and MIT Launch Entrepreneurship Club) a leader (Chair of Commerce City Youth Commission, Co-Founder of Robotics Club) to name a few of her accomplishments.”– Kimberly J. Weber


Puerto Rico

Patricia Lynn Garcia
Florida International University

“She is more than capable of handling undergraduate research at the level of a similarly experienced graduate student.  Patricia joined my lab after expressing an interest in genetics, bioinformatics, and human health…..she was able to learn more about these topics and more, especially neuroscience and molecular biology.” – Kevin M. Collins, Ph.D.


Noah Rodrigues
University of Hawaii Manoa

“Education and Continuous learning is needed to provide relevant, mindful and practical services to the public.  We cannot be complacent about understanding the evolving needs of society.” – Noah Rodrigues

Puerto Rico

Carlos Memije Gonzalez
University of Nebraska

“I am grateful that this nation has let Dreamers like me continue to dream; dream of higher education and a prosperous life.” – Carlos Memije
Carlos is working on his EMT certification… He wants to be a doctor and knows that taking the opportunities along that path will benefit him in the future. Carlos’ determination and diligence help him succeed.” – Jennifer Stastny



Victoria Rusman
North Arlington High School – Class of 2018

“Although putting others first may put some into an uncomfortable position, the end will surely justify the means when everyone is able to reach success and prosperity.  I believe that a true servant of the community should never expect anything in return, as the happiness that comes from the act itself is reward enough.” – Victoria Rusman


Yansi Veleta
University of New Mexico

“Yansi has a bright future in public service and plans to pursue a career as a defense attorney.  This field will provide the perfect setting for Yansi to utilize her intelligence, diligence, incredible work ethic, and commitment to public service.” – Rep. Patricio R. Ruiloba

New York

Jacob Matthew Fraga
Harlingen High School South – Class of 2018

“Jacob is a natural born leader who commits fully to all his activities, with passion for organizing projects and carrying them to completion….He has been the factor that has galvanized his classmates to push themselves academically and personally to heights not seen before at this school.” – Michael S. Gillitzer

New Mexico

Leena Salinas
Texas A&M

"Being raised in an impoverished city, I often questioned what opportunities my city would be able to provide me. As I matured, I began to wane from thought of how my city can serve me and started wondering what I can do for my city." – Leena Salinas


Jessica Lilibeth Rodriguez
Occidental College

"See, being a public server does not just mean giving up time to serve your community, because that excludes those who cannot afford to give up unpaid time. Being a public server is as simple as standing in solidarity with those who are discriminated against every day! That is why I want to pursue a career in politics, to be able to implement policies that end systemic oppression and allow others to be public servers, as I stand in solidarity with them!" – Jessica Rodriguez