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High School Leaders
High School Leaders Program Class of 2007
Blog Update: Day 1, Saturday July 7
Reported by: Nicholas Deaton, Henrico High School and Elaine Singerman, Oakton High School
Today we arrived at the University of Virginia for the High School Leaders Program. After getting everything into our rooms and getting settled in we went down to meet the staff and walked to the Alderman Library to take a survey of our political involvement.
We then did a short orientation in the conference room downstairs and learned everyoneâ€™s name through a â€œbingo-game.â€ After meeting everyone and learning a bit about them we ate dinner. During this time we were asked to sit with someone we had not met previously in order to meet new people. We were given a break after dinner and then we went on a photo scavenger hunt to learn more about the UVa campus. A few natives of Charlottesville knew their way around well and the rest of us learned much about the campus and how to get to the basics, such as Starbucks and our classrooms.
Tonight we talked a lot more amongst ourselves and hung out quite a bit more. We watched a movie, played cards, and chilled for a few hours. We went to bed late after our first day at Sorenson, already tired from the long day.
--Nick Deaton, Henrico High School
Today the High School Leaders Program began: 30 high schoolers from all around the state assembled at UVAâ€™s Bice Hall apartments. We all have a few things in common; weâ€™re dedicated to public service and have academic interest in finding solutions to Virginiaâ€™s problems.
I think that the program leaders set a strong foundation for achieving that goal today. The most tangible step in that direction was an orientation exercise led by Martin Mash. He set a huge pad of paper on an easel and under four headings (Republican, Democrat, Libertarian, and Green) we listed adjectives that come to mind to describe members of four different political parties. If the aim was to show us our partisan prejudices, I hope it succeeded, because by the end the sheets were almost completely negative and perfect evidence of the reason itâ€™s so difficult to make progress in politics.
With any luck, two weeks from today weâ€™ll be able to look back on that first exercise and see ourselves as more capable political thinkers without partisan name-calling holding us back.
--Lanie Singerman, Oakton High School
Thirty-one of Virginia's best and brightest high schoolersâ€”some are rising juniors, seniors, and some are recent high school graduatesâ€”have gathered at the University of Virginia for an intense two-week study of Virginia government, politics, and public policy.
We are incredibly fortunate and honored to have them with us. We truly believe that the ethical, bipartisan leaders of tomorrow who will shape the course of the Commonwealth and the nation, will emerge from our youth leadership programs.
Over the coming days we will be opening the blog door to our newest Sorensen students to share their summer experiences with you. So stay tuned for blog posts from our high schoolers.
Congratulations HSLP Class of 2007 and welcome to Sorensen!
Today's Hampton Roads Daily Press reports that the "West Point Society of Williamsburg recently presented its annual West Point Leadership Award to Eesan Balakumar, a rising senior at York High School. Balakumar demonstrated outstanding leadership in sports, school and community activities and excelled in academics. He will attend the Sorensen Institute for Political Leadership during the summer at the University of Virginia."
Eesan will be a member of the High School Leaders Program Class of 2007, which begins in Charlottesville on Saturday, July 2 and runs through July 21.
The Sorensen Institute is very proud to annouce here for the first time the names of the members of the High School Leaders Program Class of 2007. This year's class runs from July 7-21 on the grounds of the University of Virginia.
Uchenna Agbim, Vienna, Marshall (â€˜09)
Julian Asbury, Vienna, Marshall (â€˜08)
Eesan Balakumar, Yorktown, York (â€˜08)
Michaela Balderston, Alexandria, T. C. Williams (â€˜08)
Gordon Crenshaw, Virginia Beach, Woodberry Forest (â€˜07)
Nicholas Deaton, Glen Allen, Henrico (â€˜09)
Tarun Desai, Great Falls, Marshall (â€˜09)
Courtenay Dobbins, Danville, George Washington (â€˜08)
Drew Domitrovits, Barboursville, William Monroe (â€˜07)
Matthew FitzGerald, Arlington, Bishop O'Connell (â€˜09)
Arlena Foley-Haynes, Stuart, Floyd County (â€˜08)
Elizabeth Foster, Charlottesville, Western Albemarle (â€˜08)
Kyle Gardiner, Keswick, Monticello (â€˜08)
Alexandra Gecker, Richmond, Walker Governor's (â€˜08)
Caroline Geroe, Virginia Beach, Cox (â€˜09)
Rachel Gutauskas, Charlottesville, Charlottesville (â€˜08)
Mark Harris, Virginia Beach, First Colonial (â€˜09)
Colin Hood, Colonial Heights, Colonial Heights (â€˜07)
Arthur Lichtenberger, Charlottesville, Charlottesville (â€˜08)
Victoria Marchetti, Midlothian, Trinity Episcopal (â€˜08)
Walker McKusick, Charlottesville, Albemarle (â€˜09)
Neal Modi, Virginia Beach, Princess Anne (â€˜08)
Nilam Patel, Roanoke, Hidden Valley (â€˜08)
Erik Rison, Ashland, Patrick Henry (â€˜08)
Joseph Samuels, Glen Allen, Walker Governor's (â€˜08)
George Schaefer, Norfolk, Bishop Sullivan Catholic (â€˜08)
John Schmeitzel, Willis, Floyd County (â€˜08)
Ashna Sharan, Herndon, Westfield (â€˜08)
Elaine Singerman, Oakton, Oakton (â€˜08)
Anthony Spencer, Colonial Heights, Colonial Heights (â€˜07)
Kathryn Stolp, Vienna, James Madison (â€˜09)
Toni Woods, Madison Heights, Amherst County (â€˜08)
The Sorensen Institute announced today that it has hired three Program Managers to help oversee its College and High School Leaders Programs during the 2007 summer season. The new managers are Shonda Copeland, Martin Mash, and Kimberly McKay. All three are graduates of the Sorensen Institute.
Marc Johnson is the Director of Sorensen's Youth Programs. "We are honored that Shonda, Martin, and Kimberly will be joining us this summer to work with our students. They will each be powerful role models and experienced guides."
The Program Managers play a key role during both the College and High School programs, helping to ensure their success. They will also assist in program planning, marketing, and student recruitment.
Applications to the Sorensen Institute's 2007 Youth Program season are still being accepted. The deadline is February 25. Click here for more information and to apply online.
The 2007 Sorensen Institute Youth Program Mangers:
Shonda A. Copeland of Chesapeake, Virginia, will graduate in May 2007 from Norfolk State University as a Parsons Presidential Scholar with a degree in Political Science. At Norfolk State University, Shonda has served as President of the NAACP, President of the Thurgood Marshall Pre-Law Club, Treasurer of the Pre-Law Club, and participated in many other campus organizations. Highly active in community service, she has volunteered with the Share Food program, Habitat for Humanity, Big brother Big sister Hampton Roads, and as a peer tutor and mentor in local schools. Also at Norfolk State, Shonda served as the voter registration drive coordinator for the Political Science club.
She has worked on campaigns on the state and local level, and this spring is interning in the General Assembly for Senator Yvonne B. Miller as part of the Virginia Capitol Semester program through Virginia Commonwealth University. Next on the agenda for Shonda is deciding what law or graduate study is best suited for her talents.
Shonda is a graduate of the College Leaders Program Class of 2006.
Martin Mash of Chilhowie, Virginia, will graduate from Radford University in May 2007 with a bachelorâ€™s degree in Political Science and a minor in English. Martin currently serves as the student body president at Radford and as the student representative on the Radford University Board of Visitors and as Radfordâ€™s representative on the State Council on Higher Educationâ€™s Student Advisory Committee. Martin has previously served as a Senator in the Radford Student Government Association, chaired the Student Finance Committee, served on the Radford Presidential Inaugural Committee, and on the University/City Joint Commission.
Martin is a recipient of the Bonnie Hurlburt Student Leader Scholarship and the N. Eggleston Scholarship for University Service. He is a member of Virginia 21â€™s Steering Committee and has also interned for Congressman Rick Boucher.
Martin is a graduate of the College Leaders Program Class of 2005. He was elected by his classmates to represent them as a keynote graduation speaker.
Kimberly McKay of Charlottesville, Virginia will graduate at the top of her class from Virginia Tech in May 2007 with a double major in History and Political Science. At Virginia Tech, she has served the Greek community for two years as a Panhellenic Executive Officer. In her first year on the Panhellenic Council, she served as the Director of Panhellenic Relations and worked hard to bridge the gap between each of the four Greek governing bodies. In addition, Kim has worked with the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences as a College Ambassador and volunteers in the Deanâ€™s office twice a week.
Throughout her undergraduate career, she has had the opportunity to work with several different community service events, such as Relay for Life, Warm Hearth Bingo, and the Boys and Girls Club. She has been honored as a member of Phi Beta Kappa and Order of Omega.
Kim is a graduate of the College Leaders Program Class of 2006.
Marc Johnson (CLP 2003), the Director of Sorensen's Youth Programs, joined Coy Barefoot yesterday on "Charlottesville--Right Now" to discuss the 2007 season of the High School and College Leaders Programs. The Sorensen Institute is now accepting applications for both programs, which will be held this summer on grounds at the University of Virginia.
Ellen Marsteller of Manakin-Sabot was elected Class Chairman of the 2006 High School Leaders Program. She spoke briefly about her experience this summer at the Sorensen Institute during the July 22 graduation ceremony.
Steven Jones, Laura Harris, and Christopher Wrobel were the utterly capable, reliable and indispensable Program Managers for the Sorensen Institute's 2006 College and High School Leaders Programs. They each took a turn to say a few words at the recent HSLP graduation on July 22.
Carlos Quintela (on the right in the picture below) received the "Spirit of Citizenship" Award from his classmates at the High School Leaders Program Class of 2006 graduation. In this podcast, Marc Johnson makes this announcement and explains exactly what the award means.