What Is the Sorensen Institute for Political Leadership?

Through a variety of programs, the Sorensen Institute has a proven track record of bringing together diverse, bipartisan groups with an interest in bettering their communities.

By promoting effective leadership, working together, building trust, ethics, and mastery of public policy issues, Sorensen plays an important role in shaping a positive political discussion, greater understanding among Virginia's regions, and successful results in Virginia's governments and communities. These efforts strengthen the quality of governance and community service at all levels and help restore public confidence in our political system.

Many graduates of Sorensen program have later been elected to office or appointed to key state and local positions in government, served in leadership positions in the private sector or non-profit organizations, and created positive impacts in their communities.

Meet Sorensen Alumni

Meet the esteemed alumni who completed our program and continued on to improve their communities.

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Explore our Programs

 Our leadership development programs focus on Virginia residents interested in becoming active in public service.

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Recruit for our programs

Know someone who would be a good candidate for a Sorensen program? Tell us about them!

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HSLP 2017, Session B: Day 14

Reported by Andrew Kendall (Craig County High School)

Today started with all of the students meeting in the Dome Room of the Rotunda. We all presented our final policy projects to the class as well as a panel consisting of Lauren Gilbert, Tom Walls, Chris West, and Jacqueline Hixson. Every presentation was well put together and very interesting. The projects presented had to do with criminal justice, education, environment, and public health. Each presentation raised some great points and everyone learned from them as well.

HSLP 2017, Session B: Day 13

Reported by Landon Sawyer (McLean High School)

We woke up to the sound of the fire alarm blaring throughout the dorms. Somehow the steam from a shower set off the alarm! We waited outside for about 20 minutes before the firemen let us back inside, giving us a late start to the day.

HSLP 2017, Session B: Day 12

Reported by Avery Shivers (Christchurch School)

I awoke at 6:30 a.m. to the sound the song "I’ll Make a Man Out of You" from Disney's Mulan blaring from my roommate's alarm clock. By 7:15 a.m. we were all out the door and on our way to the Virginia Capitol building in Richmond.

HSLP 2017, Session B: Day 11

Reported by Ted McPhillips (Granby High School)

On our eleventh day here at the Sorensen Institute High School Leaders Program, we began with a study hall that allowed us to use valuable time with our policy groups to revise and add to our culminating projects. We read through the YPMs comments on our first full drafts, and worked as a team to fix the problems and weaknesses in our original plans.

HSLP 2017, Session B: Day 10

Reported by: Thomas Liu (劉奐呈) (Langley High School) and Alex Moreno (Western Albemarle High School)

After an interesting Senate simulation on Sunday, Monday brought a movie, a variety of speakers and a unique lesson taught by Mr. Walls.

The movie A Perfect Candidate was about the 1994 senate race in Virginia between Ollie North and Chuck Robb. Learning about the issues in Virginia in 1994 and about the campaign style, which was very personal and combative, was thought-provoking and similar in some ways to current politics.

HSLP 2017, Session B: Day 9

Reported by: Sabina Vohra (J.R. Tucker High School) and Alex White (Luray High School)

Having had a day off on Saturday, we jumped back into our busy schedule with an all-day Senate Simulation. Each of us had been assigned a Virginia Senator in advance to research and faithfully represent. The simulation was refereed by Mr. Walls as part of his class curriculum. John Metz acted as Governor and Caroline Bones played the role of Lieutenant Governor.