Viera’s McDermott going to Girls State


Arrabella McDermott will participate in Girls State this summer.

Viera High’s Arrabella McDermott is about to embark on a trip that could change her life.

The junior will be in Tallahassee June 7 to 15 to take part in Girls State, a hands-on educational workshop sponsored by the Florida American Legion Auxiliary designed to help high school juniors learn about government, politics and Americanism.

If all goes well, McDermott’s ultimate career plan could eventually take a turn toward politics.

“I’m ecstatic,” McDermott said. “I’ve always looked at going into the law process. For a long time, I really wanted to be a lawyer. But now that I’m doing this, I think it would be really cool to go into the house or the senate.

“I’m super excited for this whole thing. It’s going to be a super experience.”

As part of the workshop, students will be selected to help create a mythical state of Seminole, which is divided into 12 cities and six counties with the citizens assigned to the Nationalist or Federalist Party. They will take part in political campaigns, debates and present bills that they have written at home. 

Some bills written at either Girls or Boys State have actually been adopted into law.

McDermott said she has had several ideas for her bill, but settled on one that could help the homeless.

“A lot of restaurants want to give the extra food they have to homeless shelters, but there’s a lot of limitations on that,” she said. “I want to propose a permit that restaurants can get so that they can give their extra food to these homeless shelters and there aren’t any limitations on it for them.”

Coming up with a way to help others isn’t just a way for McDermott to get elected to a position at Girls State. Put simply, it’s what she does.

She and her mother volunteer at the Disney Marathon. She’s also a leader in her youth group and is going on a mission trip to the Dominican Republic this summer. McDermott is also the vice president of Viera High’s Beta Club, which does service projects throughout the community.

“Honestly, I do as much volunteer work as I can,” she said. “I love to volunteer. It’s my thing. I love to help other people. My mom’s always pushed me to put other people before me. I guess it’s the way she brought me up. I wish I had more time (to volunteer).”