Mount Vernon Column: Students May Apply to Amundson Institute

Mount Vernon Column: Students May Apply to Amundson Institute


This coming Legislative Session I will host the seventh annual Amundson Institute, continuing the tradition of Sen. Scott Surovell and his predecessor, former delegate, Kris Amundson. The program, sponsored by Cox Communications, is an outstanding opportunity for young leaders to learn about legislative and public service careers.

The Institute provides an educational opportunity for four high school juniors and seniors who live in or attend a school located in the 44th district on the role of the Virginia state government and top government relations professionals. Selected students will have a chance to watch the law-making process in action, attend General Assembly sessions of both the House and Senate chambers, attend committee hearings, meet policy advisors, cabinet officials and tour historic state buildings.

Each student will complete a project where they identify a shortcoming in the Code of Virginia and propose legislation to fix the law.

There will be a mandatory orientation in early January (date and time to be announced), and the Institute will take place Jan. 30-31, in Richmond. This program is provided at no cost to students and their families, other than personal incidental expenses. It includes funding for all transportation, meals, daytime activities and sleeping arrangements.

In the past, students have met with Gov. Terry McAuliffe, former Secretary of Education Anne Holton, former Secretary of the Commonwealth, Levar Stoney, state Senator Adam Ebbin (D-30) and former Delegates Amundson (D) and Chris Saxman (R).

Amundson created the institute, called the Young Leader Program, to introduce high school students in the Mount Vernon area to the Virginia State Government process. Then Delegate Surovell continued the program and renamed it the Amundson Institute after her retirement, in honor of her tireless commitment to educational opportunities for young leaders.

Last year, four wonderful students from West Potomac and Mount Vernon High School participated, and I am looking forward once again to meeting more of the 44th district's high school leaders. Application forms can be found on my website at and must be turned in by Nov. 30, 2016.