Polk native Fentrice Driskell prepares to lead Florida House Democratic Caucus

June 2, 2021

State Rep. Fentrice Driskell first debated in the Florida House chamber when she was 17 and a student at Lake Gibson High School in Lakeland.

Driskell went to Tallahassee the summer before her senior year to participate in Florida Girls State, an educational program for selected rising seniors that simulates the functions of state government. During the weeklong session, Driskell met Florida’s governor, the late Lawton Chiles, a Lakeland native.

In an indication of what lay ahead, fellow participants elected Driskell governor of the student delegation.

It completely changed my life, Driskell said last week. Before that, I thought I wanted to be an engineer. But after that experience, I fell in love with government. I decided to study it in college, which I did. I decided I would go to law school so that I could learn the language of government.

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