HSLP Alumni News

Cugnon Interviews Rep. Moran
Dec 20 2012 - 5:26pm

Marc Cugnon, graduate of the 2012 High School Leaders Program and Editor in Chief of Wakefield Country Day School's "The Conversation," interviewed Congressman Jim Moran (VA-08) about current political issues, while his classmate, Alex Foster, spoke with Congressman Frank Wolf (VA-10).  In true Sorensen fashion, Marc ensured his classmates were provided stories representing views from both sides of the aisle.  Click here to read the profiles Marc and his classmates put together.  Fantastic job, Marc!

HSLP 2011 Alumna Lobbying in Richmond
Jan 30 2012 - 1:33pm

One of the tenets of the High School Leaders Program is teaching Virginia's youths to be active participants in the legislation process.  Alumna of the 2011 HSLP, Dana Raphael, truly took this principle to heart.  During her time at Sorensen, she and her classmates Aejoo Hong, Anna Carson, and Nitin Nainani worked on a policy proposal that advocated the repeal of a law which prohibits public schools from opening before Labor Day.  Dana met with Delegate Robert Tata, Chair of the House Education Committee (R-Virginia Beach), who agreed to sponsor the bill.  Soon after, Governor McDonnell spoke out in support of the legislation, and now Delegate Tata and Dana are supporting the governor's bill, HB 1063.

Dana has spent the past week in the General Assembly testifying to the House Subcommittee on Teachers and Administration and lobbying on the bill's behalf.  She is also working to ensure that the bill would receive support should it move past the House of Delegate and onto the Senate.  
Executive Director Bob Gibson stated, "The hard work by Dana Raphael on behalf of legislation inititally crafted by Sorensen summer youth program students demonstrates the high degree of commitment shown and experience gained by wonderful groups of students who care about good governance in Virginia. The Sorensen Institute is proud to have students working on behalf of two measures that stemmed from 2011 High School Leaders and College Leaders small group projects. Participants presented and defended the projects they had developed to legislators and academic leaders in the Rotunda last summer."  College Leaders Program graduates Rebecca Lamb, Scott Bennett, Danny Yates, Kelli Montgomery, and Kevin Muchiri worked to created a Honeybee Incentive Program that inspired House Bill 300, introduced by Delegate Ed Scott (R-Madison County) and Senate Bill 354, introduced by Sen. Creigh Deeds (D-Bath County).  The five presented their cumulative project at the end of their month-long Sorensen experience last June.  HB 300 and SB 354 would create a small tax credit for new beehives.  
To track HB 1063, use the Richmond Sunlight or the Commonwealth's Legislative Information System.
To track HB 300, use the Richmond Sunlight or the Commonwealth's Legislative Information System.
Follow SB 354 in the Richmond Sunlight or the Commonwealth's Legislative Information System.


Reminder: Now Accepting PLP and CTP Applications for our 2012 Classes!
Oct 27 2011 - 4:13pm

We're in the middle of accepting applications for our 2012 Political Leaders and Candidate Training Programs. If you or someone you know would be a strong applicant, please encourage them to apply today, before the November 14th deadline passes them by.

The Political Leaders Program is a leadership development program for residents of Virginia interested in becoming more active in public service. Participants spend one weekend a month from March through December traveling across the state along with 35 other civic-minded individuals. The cost of the Political Leaders Program is $2,250, though financial assistance is available.

The Candidate Training Program, set for Jan. 19-22 at Montpelier, is an intensive, four-day program focused on the fundamentals of running a winning campaign for office. Participants will explore the nuts and bolts of building a strong campaign from the ground up, with a focus on Virginia. The cost of the Candidate Training Program is $900 for an individual room, and $750 for a shared double room.

Sorensen seeks participants from all political affiliations, socio-economic backgrounds, and professions from Virginia. Scholarships and tuition assistance are available.


Wright Selected as White House Intern
Oct 10 2011 - 12:09pm

Beau Wright (HSLP 2006) was recently selected to serve as a White House intern in the Office of Intergovernmental Affairs. While there, his responsibilities will include helping to plan and staff events for targeted constituencies, in addition to more specific tasks as needed by the office at large. Beau was selected along with nine other Virginians and 140 individuals nationwide to begin work in D.C. Congratulations, Beau!

Sorensen Mourns Loss of Alumnus Mark Harris
May 11 2011 - 1:58pm

Mark Harris (HSLP 2007) passed away suddenly on April 7, 2011 in Lexington, Va.

Mark is remembered by his friends and classmates as a wonderful debater and a warm and delightful member of the High School Leaders Program Class of 2007. He led his Scholastic Bowl team at First Colonial High School in Virginia Beach and was a valued member of his college class at Washington & Lee University. He is missed by all. The Sorensen family has his family in our thoughts and prayers. Losing a student, a colleague, a son, a talented individual, is shocking and unfair. We all share in the loss and gain in remembering Mark's life.

Mark's obituary is posted at The Virginian-Pilot. A public Facebook page is available for posting memories of Mark and condolences.

HSLP Alum's ASL Bill Passes House and Senate
Mar 8 2011 - 12:07pm

HB 1435, drafted in part by HSLP alumna Hollis Erickson (2009), has passed the House and Senate with overwhelming majorities. If signed by Gov. McDonnell, the legislation will require Virginia public high schools and state colleges and universities to count American Sign Language (ASL) courses toward their foreign-language requirements. Virginia would be the 36th state to adopt this policy.

Del. Dickie Bell (R-Staunton) sponsored the bill after receiving a letter from Erickson's ASL class at Loudoun Valley High School. After helping draft the bill, Erickson and her fellow students came to Richmond during session to testify in its favor.

"Thank you for preparing me for the legislative process through the Sorensen Institute!" Erickson said.

Visit the Richmond Times-Dispatch for more on this story.


Potter Interviewed by NBC29
Oct 29 2010 - 9:21am

Max Potter (HSLP 2010) was interviewed by NBC29 for his involvement with the Charlottesville High School young Liberals organization and their recent efforts to get Tom Periello re-elected. In addition, the article focuses on President Obama's visit to Charlottesville tonight. Congratulations Max!

To read the story go here.

Woolard Elected FYJC Chair at UVA
Oct 19 2010 - 3:37pm

John Woolard (HSLP ’09) was elected as the Chair of the First Year Judiciary Committee at the University of Virginia.  The First Year Judiciary Committee was created to adjudicate violations of the UVA Standards of Conduct by first year students in first year living areas.

John will also serve on the executive board of the University Judiciary Committee during his term. Read more in the October 18 edition of the Cavalier Daily.


Potter Greets President Obama
Sep 29 2010 - 4:18pm

Charlottesville High School student and Sorensen High School Leaders Program alum Maxwell Potter was chosen to greet President Obama today as the president stepped off Air Force One in Richmond.

Congratulations Max!

Picture: Max (right) about to "fist-bump" President Obama.