PULLMAN, Wash. — As many as 15 area high school students could receive an all-expenses paid scholarship to attend the nation’s leading Hispanic youth leadership conference in an essay contest announced today by Washington State University Tri-Cities.

The Lorenzo de Zavala Youth Legislative Session is scheduled June 9-16 at Occidental College in Los Angeles. The 20-year-old program is presented under the auspices of the National Hispanic Institute (NHI).

“Our work with NHI has led to this opportunity to offer area high school students a chance to earn ‘full ride’ scholarships to the Youth Legislative Session,” says Yolanda Flores-Niemann, director of WSU’s Hispanic Outreach Programs in the Tri-Cities.

High school freshmen, sophomores and juniors can earn the scholarships – which include travel, meals, housing, registration fees and $100 spending money – by competing in a regional essay competition. Entry deadline is May 1. Applications and rules are available from high school counselors.

Essay topics will be on Latino leadership, education, change and community service. Entrants will be judged by a team of WSU Tri-Cities faculty and the scholarships awarded on May 13.

Students participating in the contest must currently be in their freshman, sophomore or junior high school year and maintain a minimum 3.2 grade point average, either for the year or cumulative. Students from high schools in Benton, Franklin and Yakima counties, as well as the Columbia, Ephrata, Moses Lake, Othello, Quincy, Royal, Soap Lake, Wahluke, Warden, Washtucna and Wilson Creek school districts are eligible to participate.

Complete details on the scholarship competition are available at high school counselor’s offices or by contacting Yolanda Flores-Niemann at (509) 372-7278 or Karen Davis at (509) 372-7264.