The Sorensen Institute’s High School Leaders Program (HSLP) offers concentrated study in Virginia politics and government for high school students from across the state. The program is open to all students in the commonwealth who are at least 16 years of age and/or are rising juniors. Graduating seniors are also eligible to participate. The HSLP is based on a firm belief that young people not only can make a positive difference in their communities, they should be strongly encouraged to do so.
Our High School Leaders Program gives students the practical skills and political knowledge to become effective advocates in their communities and schools. Participants engage in substantive debate about the public policy challenges facing the Commonwealth and interact with Virginia’s political and business leaders. The two-week HSLP is held each summer on grounds at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville. The program features a Virginia-focused, multidisciplinary curriculum with three main goals:
- To prepare future leaders for ethical and responsible citizenship and public service in the Commonwealth
- To connect Virginia’s youth leaders from different backgrounds and philosophies with each other and with current leaders in the government, business, and non-profit sectors.
- To energize our democratic system of government by promoting civic engagement among youth leaders.
In 2007 the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching recognized the Sorensen Institute’s College and High School Leaders Programs as among the very best in the nation and something of a national model when it comes to giving young people the skills and motivation to become politically engaged in their communities.