Fort Myers High Student Elected Governor at Florida Boys State

Fort Myers High School Student Elected Governor at Florida Boys State
Posted on 07/13/2022
Fort Myers High School Student Elected Governor at Florida Boys State

Nearly a dozen students from at least two high schools travelled to Tallahassee in June for the Florida American Legion Boys State Conference and Girls State Conference. Fort Myers High School’s Aum Dhruv was elected Governor at Boys state.

"Boys State was one of the most rewarding and fulfilling experiences of my life,” Aum Dhruv says. “I am incredibly grateful for the friends I made, the lessons I learned, and the ability to serve as Lee County's first governor. Although the road to my election win was challenging, I took one step at a time, campaigning and being elected as Mayor, County Commissioner, Senator, and Governor. It was all ultimately worth it."

Florida Boys State is a mock government program in which rising seniors organize and run their own local, county, and state governments for one week in Tallahassee. They also attend college level civics and Florida history classes and hear from a variety of guest speakers.

As Governor, Dhruv was responsible for the well-being and proper functioning of Boys State. He approved or vetoed bills passed by the legislature, appointed cabinet members, and had the authority to grant pardons and suspend fines.

Fort Myers High School’s Charles Dalton and Jake Phinney were appointed to the Florida Supreme Court and Churchill Roberts won a role as State Senator from his district.

Lehigh Senior High School rising senior James Lacy also attended this year’s Boys State. He was one of 16 mayors elected at the conference and told the Lehigh Acres Citizen of his experience, “I recommend this experience for everyone who is ready for a challenge and wants to be a leader in their community.”

More than 400 students from around Florida participated in Boys State. Each student must be nominated by their local American Legion post to attend. The post pays for their travel and participation costs.

The Florida Channel reported on Boys State in their June 24th Capitol Update. The story includes an interview with Aum Dhruv and can be viewed at It is the last element of the update, beginning 24 minutes into the program.

Florida Girls State provided a similar experience to about 300 girls entering their senior year of high school. Fort Myers High School’s Ansley Marsh was appointed Chief Financial Officer. The CFO advises county officers in matters of finance and taxation and decides what bills to pay. Classmate Carly Schmelzle was elected as a Senator from her district, Camryn Peach to the House of Representatives and Francheska Matos as a media reporter.

Florida Girls State was first held in 1947 and more information is available at Florida Boys State started in 1940 and has more details about the program at Both programs are non-partisan, without any reference to existing political parties so that the students involved learn about their rights and responsibilities as an adult.