Through a variety of programs - for high school and college leaders to first-time political candidates and influential business and community leaders - the Sorensen Institute has established itself as a powerful and effective force for restoring public confidence in our political system. At the heart of every Sorensen program are three central themes: ethics in public service, the power of bipartisanship, and a concentrated study of public policy issues.
Meet the esteemed alumni who completed our program and continued on to improve their communities.
Our leadership development programs focus on Virginia residents interested in becoming active in public service.
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Reported by Carolyn Lemens (Annandale High School)
After a rather alarming early morning fire drill, the class headed back to the College of Nursing for the budget game, not yet aware of the difficulties that were to come.
We walked into the room confident that a budget would be easy to pass; we would simply need to cut unnecessary spending and raise needed revenue. Once we were divided into a house and a senate group, we quickly realized that things were not so simple.
Reported by: Pari Kapila (Douglas S. Freeman High School)
Compared to other days at the HSLP, this day definitely felt like a slight break, as we were able to spend the morning working in our policy groups. Even though we’re starting to feel the weight of our policy projects on our shoulders, we had a calm, productive start to our day. Everyone was working hard on their policy proposals in order to reach the 10 p.m. deadline for the proposals' first draft. It was amazing to really see all of our work finally come together.
Reported by Julianna Jones (New Kent High School)
After a restful Sunday we headed back into the classroom and kicked our culminating project work into high gear. We started off the day with three fascinating speakers. Samantha Sedivy works as a judicial law clerk for the sixth circuit of Virginia. She described the law school admissions process, her law school experience, and getting involved in politics in high school and college. She also told us of many interesting cases that she’s been involved with, including one about a man who faked his own death.
Reported by: Claire Melton (John S. Battle High School) and Jack Fife (St. Anne's Belfield School)
After getting an extra hour of sleep, the Sorensen HSLP class arose to the exciting Saturday that awaited us. The Senate Simulation began promptly at 10:00 a.m. with caucus meetings. Each of us represented a real-life member of the Senate, preparing two bills beforehand based on the past positions of our legislators and the interests of the their constituents.