19-year-old joins growing Pinellas District 7 race
Corey Givens, Jr., is the latest to join the increasingly crowded Pinellas County school board District 7 race to fill the vacancy left when Lew Williams died late last year.
A 2010 graduate of Lakewood High in St. Petersburg, Givens said he feels uniquely qualified to tackle the weighty issues facing the district's youth including glaring achievement disparities between black and white students.
"I feel like if anyone knows what the students of Pinellas County need, it's someone who has been there recently," said Givens.
Givens, who turns 20 on April 11, is pursuing at bachelor's degree in political science at the University of South Florida. He said he has long been interested in politics. While at Lakewood, he served as president of the Pinellas County Student Rights and Responsibilities committee as well as president of his class. A press release announcing his candidacy notes that he represented the City of St. Petersburg as a student ambassador to Takamatsu, Japan.
Givens said he has been active in local campaigns including those for state Rep. Darryl Rouson, Pinellas County Commissioner Kenneth Welch and former state Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink, and he said he counts Lew Williams, who he encountered through his involvement with the St. Petersburg NAACP, a mentor.
He faces a growing field of challengers for the south Pinellas County seat including former St. Petersburg City Council member Rene Flowers, Thurgood Marshall Fundamental Middle School paraprofessional Cassandra Jackson and attorney Keisha Bell, who ran for the seat in 2010.
See the press release announcing Givens' candidacy attached below.