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Ernesto Nieto is the President and Founder of the National Hispanic Institute. Established in 1979, NHI's mission is to engage Latino youth with learning experiences that further their intellectual development, prepared them for college, and guided them to value and appreciate the importance of becoming engaged citizens in community life.
He grew up in Houston's Magnolia and Northside communities. Ernesto grew up in a civic-minded family where parents were recreation directors at DeZavala Park, Hennessy Park and Selena Park in Denver Harbor.
He graduated from Jeff Davis High School and was recruited to play basketball at the University of Houston. He transferred and graduated from Southwestern University in Georgetown, Texas and was leading scorer in conference play two years in a row.
His honors include Distinguished Alumnus from Jeff Davis High School, Distinguished Alumnus from Southwestern University, Honorary doctoral degrees from Texas Wesleyan University, Ft. Worth, and Austin College, Sherman, Texas
Ernesto served on the board of trustees at DePaul University in Chicago and is a trustee at Southwestern University, Georgetown, Texas.
He is the author of "Third Reality: Crafting a 21st Century Latino Agenda" and "Third Reality Revealed."
Ernesto Nieto's work is both national and international taking him to countries that include Panama, Mexico, Argentina, and the Dominican Republic.
Ernesto Nieto received the Campana Award by the Mexican American School Board Association in 2011. In the summer of 2013, Ernesto will receive a national honor from the National Education Association.