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Virginia Latino Higher Education Network (VALHEN)

The Virginia Latino Higher Education Network (VALHEN) is the only state-wide, non-profit, 501(c) (3) organization which supports, promotes, and advocates for Latino success and advancement in higher education, to ensure that every Latino in Virginia is college and career ready for the benefit and betterment of the Commonwealth of Virginia. VALHEN volunteers are driven by their passionate belief that our Hispanic/Latino children and communities must have access to education in order to become full and contributing members of our Commonwealth.

VALHEN’s journey is a classic study of collaboration, determination, and vision, made possible by the work of its volunteer members and the generous in-kind contributions of numerous institutions such as James Madison University (JMU), Northern Virginia Community College, Old Dominion University (ODU), Regent University, State Council of Higher Education for Virginia (SCHEV), Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU), Virginia State University (VSU), Virginia Tech (VT), and the University of Richmond (UR).

Other generous sponsors to date include (in alpha order): Altria, Bank of America, Diverse Issues in Higher Education, Dominion, GEICO, Hispanic Outlook in Higher Education, Latinos in Higher Education, Liberty Tax’s Una Familia Sin Fronteras Program, NVCC Foundation, The College Board, Verizon, the Social Security Administration, the Virginia Community College System, Virginia Credit Union, Virginia 529 Program, and Wells Fargo. In addition, support and encouragement has also come from Governor Bob McDonnell, Senators Mark Warner and Jim Webb, and former Governor Tim Kaine.

VALHEN addresses a need for Virginians to have a strong voice and a medium through which they can advocate for the success of the Hispanic/Latino community. As this population continues to grow, VALHEN’s unique role becomes increasingly important, already quickly turning into the “go to” organization regarding educational access and opportunities, and the inherent socioeconomic contributions connected with educational achievements. VALHEN and its members are changing the face of the Commonwealth by ensuring that Hispanic/Latinos are visible, are supported, and are on their way to higher education.

Our principal programs include:

  • Hispanic College Institute (, held each year in July
  • Encuentro (, held each year in October, during Hispanic Heritage Month
  • Scholarship Program (
  • Lecture Series designed to highlight the work of our members (

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