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.
Save The Date for our 18th Annual Spring Gala on April 10! Tickets will be available soon for this special event at the historic Altria Theater. Sponsorship opportunities are available—contact Colleen Smith at 434‑982‑4910 to start the conversation.
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.
Know someone who would be a good candidate for a Sorensen program? Tell us about them!
This award will be presented annually to the individuals who model the spirit and mission of Sorensen through the trust, civility and respect they have consistently shown toward others. They create sustainable efforts toward the betterment of a more decent and tolerant civic life and culture for the people of the Commonwealth.
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.
Fitz Elder (St. Anselm’s Abbey School) and Matthew Nalls (Summit Christian Academy)
Today was a change of pace for the HSLP. Our day began bright and early with a bus ride to the Cub Run Dairy farm in the Shenandoah Valley. Our delve into dairy culture kicked off with the ultrasound of a pregnant heifer. As we witnessed the veterinarian perform the ultrasound, we saw the future of the dairy industry in the form of an unborn cow calf.
Reported by Yirehi Del Valle Roman (TC Williams High School) and Catherine Quian (Maggie L. Walker Governor's School)
For class today, each group was responsible for reading about a period of Virginia’s political history. Mr. Walls divided us into six groups, each of which was asked to prepare a presentation covering a specific period in Virginia's political history ranging from the zenith of Harry Byrd's political machine to the climactic 2001 gubernatorial election. Because of the date, we had the unique honor of holding class in the beautiful Rotunda.
Check out the Sorensen political links page to discover new insights into politics in Virginia. We seek out new informational resources and frequently update the page with new links so bookmark it for later (or set it as your homepage if you like).