Reported by: Jordan Laster, Norfolk Collegiate School and Grecia Hernandez, William Byrd High School
Our thirteenth day on campus, today was bittersweet for the 2019 Sorensen Institute High School Leaders Program, as we slowly realized today would be one of our last days in class together. However, we still managed to stay in good spirits with the help of a casual dress day as well as the long-awaited Budget Game. Immediately after breakfast, the class ventured to Monroe Hall, where we were tasked with balancing Virginia’s state budget. From nine o’clock in the morning to three o’clock in the afternoon, we acted as state legislators, adding, subtracting, and debating in order to decide what deserved funding and what deserved cuts. The class soon learned the difficulty and frustration that comes with perfectly balancing a budget in a democratic fashion and earned a newfound respect for real state legislators.
This lead to a very fun yet challenging simulation and the whole class gained an appreciation for the art of balancing a budget. Following the simulation, our class ventured back to Gooch where we had some time to work and prepare for the practice presentations that night. All the groups worked diligently until dinnertime at O-Hill. After dinner, every group anxiously awaited the practice presentations and prepared in their own ways. The practice presentations went very well and were ultimately a helpful way to prepare for what the next day had in store with the real presentations. After the practice presentations, many students decided to relax with a trip to the corner or heading back to their dorms. Everyone submitted their assignments and anxiously awaited morning when every group would present their policy proposals for a panel of judges.