HLI Eligiblity Requirements

Our Flagship Program: The HOPE Leadership Institute®

The HOPE Leadership Institute® (HLI) features intense, full-day training sessions and research on building political and economic power for our community. Training sessions include academic seminars, personal assessments, group work and presentations, political advocacy, field trips, networking, and conferences.

As part of the HLI, you will immerse yourself in a learning exchange with experts on civic engagement, leadership, political campaigning, health, education, and economic empowerment. You will come away connected to HOPE’s vast network of over 1,000 Latina leaders.

The HLI is an annual cohort-based program spanning nine months, from January through September.

Applications to the HOPE Leadership Institute 2024 cohort are now closed. 2025 applications will open later this summer.

Required Qualifications

To be eligible for the HLI, applicants must:

  • Reside in California.
  • Be a recognized community leader with at least 5 years of leadership experience — for example, serving on a nonprofit board or government commission.
  • Be a mid- or high-level professional ready for the next step in your career and leadership role in your community.

We consider all applicants without regard to gender identity or expression. The program is designed to train female-identifying Latinas with leadership and advocacy skills, and a key part of the HLI program involves policy analysis through the lens of gender and identity.


Admission to the HLI is highly competitive and applications are evaluated regionally by program alumnae and HOPE staff. Applications open in late August, due in November, and notifications are made in mid-December. To be considered for the HLI, please submit an online application and include the following:

  • A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU).
  • A headshot (preferably high resolution .png or .jpeg). No selfies, please.
  • $100 non-refundable application fee payable online or by check.
  • Letters of recommendation from the HLI, members of the HOPE network, or other professional contacts. Please note that referrals from HLI alumnae are highly recommended, and all referrals will be contacted.

Selection is based on regional affiliation — Northern California, Bay Area, Central Valley, Central Coast, Greater Los Angeles, Inland Empire, Orange County, and San Diego. Because of the underrepresentation of Latina leaders from certain areas of the state, an emphasis will be placed on recruitment in the Inland Empire, Central Valley, and Northern California.

Program Costs

The traditional, in-person cohort involves a total estimated cost of $2,000 for travel to training sessions, books and materials, and conference fees. Participants are encouraged to seek employer or corporate sponsorship. With any questions about how to seek sponsorship, please contact us.

HOPE is able to cover the cost for lodging and food at all training sessions, except Session 4. In HOPE-sponsored lodging, participants will be expected to share rooms. If participants choose to opt out and cover their own lodging, this would increase total costs to about $6,500.

Calendar of In-Person Sessions

  • Session I: The Political Process

    Sacramento, CA

  • Session II: Local Government & Latina History Day

    Los Angeles, CA

  • Session III: State Policy Process & Latina Action Day

    Sacramento, CA

  • Session IV: Regional Issues, Economy, Leadership Legacy

    Bakersfield, CA

  • Session V: National Advocacy Session

    Washington DC


With any questions about applying to and participating in the HOPE Leadership Institute, please contact Lea Gonzalez, Senior Program Manager.

Subscribe Today

Sign up for our monthly newsletter to stay up to date on all things HOPE.