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High School Leaders
High School Leaders Program Class of 2006
Blog Update: Day 6--Thursday July 13
Reported by: Evan Davis of Virginia Beach
Classes began today with student groups offering amendments to the Virginia State Constitution. Some amendments succeeded and survived the class debate. One such amendment suspended the property tax for two years on a new business in â€œdevelopingâ€ areas. While some amendments succeeded, others did not. Among those which failed was one which forced the governor to get the General Assemblyâ€™s approval before granting pardons and/or clemency.
After playing the role of legislators and debating constitutional amendments, we heard from three special guest speakers. The first person we heard from was Andrew Lamar [CLP Class of 2006], Chairman of the Virginia College Republicans. One of the hot topics discussed with Mr. Lamar were the three hotly contested elections. These heated races are for the Senate, between Sen. George Allen and Jim Webb, the second is for Virginiaâ€™s Second Congressional District (mainly Virginia beach), between Rep. Thelma Drake and Phil Kellam; while the third race is for Virginiaâ€™s Eleventh Congressional District (Fairfax and Prince William Counties) between Rep. Tom Davis and Andrew Hurst.
The next speaker we heard from was Barbara Kessler, who helped us build attractive resumes that will undoubtedly help us in the future. After this resume workshop, we met Connie Jorgensen, a former Legislative Assistant and lobbyist, who discussed with us the Legislative Process in Virginia. During this lecture we left the world of Schoolhouse Rock Videos and heard the story of what Mrs. Jorgensen called, â€œHow a Bill REALLY Becomes a Law.â€
Following class, we ended the day by working on our culminating projects, which focus on a specific public policy issue in Virginia.
High School Leaders Program Class of 2006
Blog Update: Day 5--Wednesday July 12
Reported by: Kaitlyn Bennett of Chesapeake
Today proved to be a fulfilling,yet exhausting day for myself and my twenty-one new friends here at the High School Leaders program.
By 7:15 this morning we left the campus of UVA to head off to Richmond where we were met by a tour guide who pointed out some of the unique facts of the state's capital. We then went to the Patrick Henry building where the General Assembly met this past session due to the immense reconstruction of the Capitol Building.
This particular building is where we spent the remainder of the day, and we received a huge kickoff from a member of the Clerk's office. He allowed us to have a floor debate, similarly to how the Senators would do it; the debate was fun and successful and it was wonderful getting to know everyone's point of view on certain, interesting topics.
The rest of the day was spent listening to various speakers, from a Republican Delegate, to members of Timothy Kaine's personal staff, to a Republican Lobbyist for a Richmond law firm, all if whom spoke to us about how to get involved in the political realm. We concluded the day with a fantastic meal in the capitol city. I really appreciated getting to know each of these speakers and receiving a hands on introduction of the Virginia Senate. I think everyone had a wonderful day and for some it was a great way to be introduced to the capitol as they had never been.
High School Leaders Program Class of 2006
Blog Update: Day 3--Monday July 10
Reported by: Paul Blair of Virginia Beach
Today, the students at the HSLP experienced a taste of true political education in their first day of class. A packed day was highlighted by Tom Shields who discussed Ethics and Leadership and Don Baker, the former Washington Post Richmond Bureau Chief.
Dr. Shields discussed the issue of leadership through ethics and morality and how leaders become effective. Dr. Shields cited Hellermanâ€™s Bad Leadership in the session to explain how leaders work with followers for an end result. The class talked about â€œwhat is right?â€ and decided the answer is in how you view actions and their consequences.
Don Baker, who the students know as the reporter from â€œA Perfect Candidate,â€ helped everyone understand the makeup of Virginia. Those listening found much humor in the intellectual nature of Mr. Baker. His personal knowledge of the campaign trail, especially the Robb-North race, aided in his explanation of demographic groups throughout Virginia as well as the importance of the â€œGolden Crescent.â€
Mr. McGuire began â€œthe Informed Citizenâ€ class with an overview of the demographics of all the regions in Virginia. This detailed lesson compared Virginia to the rest of the country ranging from wealth to race and education in the Commonwealth. Each area has regional issues that affect the political makeup of that area. Understanding these demographics is important to candidates as they form their planks and platforms.
High School Leaders Program Class of 2006
Blog Update: Day 2--Sunday July 9
Reported by: Ellen Marsteller of Manakin-Sabot
Our second day at Sorensen was great! After sleeping in, we all met down at the lobby to board the bus that would take us to Challenge Discovery. The purpose of our trip was to build a closer bond and a sense of teamwork, which I think we definitely accomplished.
We arrived at the course and soon began warm-up games. After a group meeting, our leaders took us to the ropes course, where we slit into our groups and began our assigned task. My group was in charge of the safety equipment. We were lucky to have Mark, an avid rock climber, in our group to show us how the equipment worked.
After about 40 minutes we were ready to work as a team and conquer the scary course. Carlos described how to climb the course and made sure everyone was comfortable with how everything worked. We quickly picked roles and divided into climbers and ground crew. I, being terribly afraid of heights, decided to stay on the ground and help with the many tasks.
The first run through went well, but the second time around was much faster. Our group knew how to work together and trusted each others ability to complete the task. After a fun and rewarding afternoon we boarded the bus back to Charlottesville. I was happy to stop in my home town of Richmond for a yummy dinner.
Overall, the day was great, full of challenges that brought us closer as a group. --Ellen Marsteller
High School Leaders Program Class of 2006
Blog Update: Day 1-- Saturday July 8
Reported by: Carlos Quintela of Oakton
Today was the first day of The High School Leaders Program, HSLP, at the Sorensen Institute. I woke up early for the long drive to Charlottesville. There was check-in, finding rooms, meeting roommates, and unpacking.
Soon enough, everyone was gathered in the lobby of the building in which we are staying. All the kids said good-bye to their parents, tears welling in the eyes of mothers. There was the necessary tour of UVA, pointing out the library, classrooms, and most importantly, dining hall. Then we gathered in the lounge for a quick discussion and a getting to know you activity.
An important aspect of at the Sorensen Institute is not revealing any political affiliation. They had repeated that rule to us multiple times before in many of the letters they sent, but they finally explained the reason to us.
We had an activity where we simply yelled out adjectives that people, such as pundits, talk-show hosts, etc. have used to describe Democrats and Republicans. Democrats were baby killing, tree hugging, hippie, commies. Republicans were stupid, fascist, neo-Nazi, confederate flag waving, rednecks.
I realized how I could make presumptions about people if they told me their political party. I would probably talk to them differently, or disregarded their suggestions or ideas. We will all probably have a good idea about everyoneâ€™s ideas and party before these two weeks are done, but we will never really be sure.
The last thing we did was watch the movie A Perfect Candidate about the Ollie North and Chuck Robb Senate Race. I thought it would be very dry and boring, but we had fun cracking jokes at the different candidates and their staff.
After the movie, we had some free time. Everyone walked together to The Corner to get some snacks. It was a good time; we got to know each other better.
That was just day one of a 15 day experience.
After many weeks of interviews around the Commonwealth, the Sorensen Institute is proud to announce that the members of the High School Leaders Program 2006 and the College Leaders Program 2006 have at last been selected. Competition was especially rigorous this year, and we want to thank everyone who applied to the programs. "We are fortunate to have an incredible group of students for both programs this year," commented Marc Johnson, Director of Sorensen's Youth Programs. "We are looking forward to getting started. It's going to be a great summer." Congratulations to all our new Sorensen students!
The COLLEGE LEADERS Program begins
on May 27 and runs through June 24. The members of the College Leaders Program Class of 2006 are:
Andrew Almand, Arlington, Christopher Newport University (2006), Political Science, minor in History
Sean Banks, Midlothian, James Madison University (2009), Undeclared
Catherine Bauman, Danville, The University of Virginia (2007), Government, minor in French
Ashley Call, Fairfax, Christopher Newport University (2008), Early Childhood Psychology, minor in Italian
Daniel Carawan, Richmond, Virginia Commonwealth University (2008), Political Science
Shonda Copeland, Chesapeake, Norfolk State University (2007), Political Science, minor in English Education
Brian Coy, Woodbridge, James Madison University (2006), Political Science, minor in Geology
Anja Davis, Virginia Beach, Virginia Commonwealth University (2009), Political Science
Brady DeRemer, Grand Forks Air Force Base, The University of Mary Washington (2007), Political Science, concentration in Public Policy
Brandon Eickel, Germantown, Maryland, James Madison University (2008), Political Science and Communications
Katherine Ely, Smithfield, Old Dominion University (2005), Psychology and Communications
Nancy Funkhouser, Gordonsville, The University of Virginia (2008), International Relations, minor in Economics
Elizabeth Hooper, Martinsville, Radford University (2006), Political Science, minor in History
LaAndra Jones, Alexandria, Hampton University (2006), Political Science
Andrew Lamar, Fredericksburg, The University of Mary Washington (2007), Political Science and Economics
Emad Maghsoudi, Clifton, Virginia Commonwealth University (2008), Political Science, concentration in Pre-Law
Holly Mattocks, Fairfax, The University of Virginia (2007), Foreign Affairs, minor in History
Kimberly McKay, Charlottesville, Virginia Tech (2007), History and Political Science
Eric Paulson, Port Republic, Virginia Tech (2006), Political Science (B.A.) and Dairy Science (B.S.)
Jarrett Ray, Charlottesville, James Madison University (2008), Political Science and Philosophy and Religion
Emily Reijmers, Charlottesville, Virginia Commonwealth University (2008), Political Science, minor in International Relations
Chelsea Rock, Woodbridge, University of Richmond (2006), Rhetoric and Communications Studies, minors in Womenâ€™s, Gender and Sexuality Studies and Spanish
Lincoln Saunders, Kilmarnock, the College of William & Mary (2006), Government, minor in Classical Studies
Tyler Sinsabaugh, Glen Allen, Longwood University (2006), Political Science, concentration in Pre-Law, minor in History
Michael Sizemore, Collinsville, Virginia Tech (2007), Political Science, minor in Urban Affairs and Planning
Lauren Stech, Chesapeake, Radford University (2007), Political Science, minor in Business Administration
Tsion Tesfaye, Midlothian, Virginia Commonwealth University (2009), English
Veronica Tessler, Yorktown, Virginia Commonwealth University (2007), International Studies, minor in Italian
Curtis Walton, Portsmouth, Old Dominion University (2008), Political Science and Finance
Chalana Williams, Chesapeake, Radford University (2009), Political Science
The HIGH SCHOOL LEADERS Program begins on July 8 and runs through July 22. The members of the High School Leaders Program Class of 2006 are:
Mark Armstrong, Lynchburg, E.C. Glass High School (2008)
Natacha Arora, Chesapeake, Oscar F. Smith High School (2008)
Kendall Bailey, Lynchburg, , E.C. Glass High School (2007)
Adam Barton, Roanoke, Northside High School (2007)
Kaitlyn Bennett, Chesapeake, Oscar F. Smith High School (2008)
Paul Blair, Virginia Beach, First Colonial High School (2008)
Amanda Blevins, Lovingston, Nelson County High School (2007)
William Corcelius, Quicksburg, Stonewall Jackson High School (2007)
Sarah Davidson, Blackwater, Rye Cove High School (2006)
Evan Davis, Virginia Beach, First Colonial High School (2008)
Courtenay Dobbins, Danville, George Washington High School (2008)
Alexandra Fey, Keswick, St. Anneâ€™s Belfield (2007)
Kristen Gardner, Ashland, Patrick Henry High School (2007)
Phinizy Generelly, Palmyra, Tandem Friends School (2007)
Grant Johnson, Great Falls, George C. Marshall High School (2008)
Conor Kantwill, Charlottesville, St. Anneâ€™s Belfield (2007)
Anna Mahone, Marion, Marion Senior High School (2008)
Ellen Marsteller, Manakin-Sabot, Collegiate School (2008)
Nicholas Oâ€™Boyle, Danville, Galileo Magnet High School (2008)
Natalie Oschrin, Charlottesville, Charlottesville High School (2007)
Carlos Quintela, Oakton, Thomas Jefferson High school (2008)
Erik Rison, Ashland, Patrick Henry High School (2008)
Tully Satre, Jeffersonton, Notre Dame Academy (2007)
Marie Sicola, Ashland, Patrick Henry High School (2008)
Alia Stewart-Silver, Charlottesville, Tandem Friends School (2006)
Lauren Story, Carrsville, Windsor High School (2008)
Beau Wright, Lynchburg, E.C. Glass High School (2007)
Elizabeth Fife (HSLP '05), Director of Youth Programs Marc Johnson (CLP '03),
Chris Wrobel (CLP '05), with Jane Foy and Dick Mountjoy at the WINA studio
Sorensen's Youth Programs were the subject of NewsRadio 1070 WINA's morning talk show, "Charlottesville LIVE" today. Hosts Jane Foy and Dick Mountjoy discussed the High School and College Leaders Programs for a full hour between 9 and 10am. Among their guests were Elizabeth Fife of Charlottesville, a graduate of the High School Leaders Program Class of 2005. Elizabeth will be attending Duke University this fall. Sorensen's Director of Youth Programs, Marc Johnson (himself a graduate of the College Leaders Program Class of 2003) was also in studio for the program; as was University of Virginia third-year student Chris Wrobel, who is a graduate of the College Leaders Program Class of 2005. Ashley Boyd (College Leaders Program Class of 2004), was a guest by phone from her office in Richmond where she currently works for Governor Tim Kaine.
Radio producer Sean Tubbs of the Charlottesville Podcasting Network recently unveiled a story about the Sorensen Institute's High School and College Leaders Programs. The story was broadcast this week on WVTF, the NPR Station in Roanoke, and was heard throughout much of Southwest and Central Virginia.
Sean interviewed Marc Johnson, Director of Youth Programs, Ashely Boyd and Steven Jones (College Leaders Program Class of 2004), as well as Gabie Kalman and Elizabeth Fife (High School Leaders Program Class of 2005).
You can listen to the complete broadcast here. (Click on "MP3 Download")
The deadline for applications to our Youth Programs Class of 2006 is February 24. Contact Marc Johnson.
Elizabeth Fife (HSLP '05)
Congratulations to High School Leaders Program Class of 2005 graduate
Elizabeth Fife of Charlottesville who was recently accepted to Duke
University. Elizabeth will graduate from St. Anne's Belfied School in
the spring. Elizabeth organized a book drive at her school for
underprivileged children and serves as a peer health educator. She is
also on the varsity tennis team.
Congratulations to Kim Walters, a freshman at the College of William
and Mary and a graduate of the Sorensen Institute's High School Leaders
Program Class of 2004. Kim was one of only four freshmen elected to the
William and Mary Student Senate.