Reported by: Tyler Hoppe, Atlee High School and Lola LaPier, Princess Anne High School

After two weeks, we can finally say that we completed the Sorensen Institute HSLP 2019 by putting our best effort forth whether that meant a lack of sleep or not. We finished this week with class elections, where some of the best of us ran for the positions of President and Speaker. The president we elected was P.T. Meadors, who had a heartfelt and honest approach to the position. Tarina Ahuja was elected Speaker, demonstrating her polished speaking skills in her policy project today and in her speech for why she should be elected. We are truly honored to have these students representing the HSLP class of 2019.

Ten relentless and informative days after choosing topics, we finally got the opportunity to present our policy proposals to a noteworthy panel of Sorensen Alumni and teachers, e.g. Lauren Gilbert, Tom Walls, Marc Johnson, Chris West, and Samantha Sedivy. The six groups presented in alphabetical order, with the Criminal Justice group opening, followed by Education, Environment, Health Services, Public Safety, and Transportation wrapping up our day. 

Along with our guest panelists, we were surprised by a visit from the Dean of Undergraduate Admissions of the Batten School of Public Policy and Leadership: Anne Carter Mulligan. She educated us on the history of the building and the program, shedding light on the opportunities that Sorensen has presented us with, and inspiring more than just those of us who plan on applying to the Batten School and UVA. 

Our elections were followed by a final classroom wrap-up session with Professor Tom Walls (who Lime scootered to class), where we discussed what we’ve taken away from this program, how we have grown, and what it truly means to be a leader. Through a very transparent discussion about political polarization, legislative stalemates, aliens, coups, and Teletubbies, we were all able to sit back and appreciate how much we have developed and learned from this program. 

It has been a good two weeks and on behalf of every student here, it will be sad to say goodbye to the friends we made and the family we joined here at the Sorensen Institute. These two weeks have gone by fast and it feels like just yesterday we were climbing ropes and learning each other's names. However, this doesn’t have to be the end. With P.T. as president, he will help us keep and touch with each other. However, we should all try to reach out individually because the future leaders of tomorrow are truly represented here.Day 14 of the 2019 HSLP, final policy presentations

Friday, Jul 26, 2019