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HSLP Alumni News
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!
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.
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.
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!
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.
Every year, the Sorensen Institute is joined by three Youth Program alumni who serve as Youth Program Coordinators. They assist the Manager of Youth Programs and Director of Programs with the day-to-day operation of the College Leaders and High School Leaders Programs. We're pleased to announce those alumni who have been selected to serve as our 2011 Youth Program Coordinators!
Elisabeth is a graduate of the Sorensen Institute's College Leaders Program (Class of 2010). She graduates this May from Mary Baldwin College with a degree in Political Science. At Mary Baldwin she serves as an Assistant Community Coordinator, is an active member of Mary Baldwin College's Resident Assistant Staff and has served as an intern for the Environmental Protection Agency. She is a proud member of Omicron Delta Kappa (National Leadership Fraternity) and Alpha Lambda Delta. (Pictured at right.)
Hailing from Portsmouth, Virginia, Dale is a 2008 graduate of the Sorensen Institute's College Leaders Program. Dale graduates from George Mason University this May with a degree in Government. At George Mason, Dale is active in the Akoma Circle, Future Business Leaders of American and the Student Government Association. In the past, Dale has volunteered for Tutor Grove Baptist Church, the Marine Corps Reserves Toys for Tots Drive and has canvassed for several campaigns. Dale is a proud member of Kappa Alpha Psi. (Pictured at left.)
Beau is a proud graduate of the 2006 High School Leaders Program. A native of Lynchburg, Virginia, he graduated from E.C. Glass High School before going on to study at Davidson College in Davidson, North Carolina. Enchanted with his home state, he returned to attend the College of William & Mary, from which he will graduate this May with a degree in Government and History. Outside of his interest in nonpartisan politics, Beau enjoys leading tours at the National D-Day Memorial in Bedford, Virginia, and traveling. (Pictured at right.)
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.
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.
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.
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.
Picture: Max (right) about to "fist-bump" President Obama.