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 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: 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.
Reported by: Nick Begotka (Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology) and Cameron Smithers (Hanover High School)
Today was our first day at Sorensen! After moving in and meeting our roommates, two of our youth program managers took us on a tour of UVA. The tour was great, save for the fact that there was virtually no shade to protect us from Charlottesville’s scorching summer weather.