I am a volunteer at PACE Center for Girls Jacksonville and have been for ten years. It is so rewarding to watch the girls grow from victims to beautiful young ladies of strength and wisdom. I see a staff and volunteers dedicated to improving the lives of the girls at PACE and I applaud them for the great impact they are making in the future of, not only these girls, but also the world. I have been instrumental in getting many other volunteers involved in PACE and they all feel the same.
Not only do I volunteer at PACE Center for Girls, Inc. but I have enlisted many of my friends and they find PACE as rewarding as I do. Last week was PACE graduation and it felt so good to see the success these girls have achieved against tremendous odds. PACE shows young women that they can be anything they want and that they have a a future of hope and success.
I am a volunteer at the Lee County PACE Center for Girls. Each girl that enters our school comes with their individual story. Usually a story of abuse; verbal, physical, mental or sexual abuse. Each girl receives counselling to help them 'find their voice' - to help them gain self esteem and meet thier potential. Each girl is typically 2 to 3 years behind in their education. Through tutoring and guidance the girls achieve their repsective grade level and can transition back in to regualr K-12 schools. Our teachers, our staff and our volunteers are dedicated to the girls success; saving one girl at a time
Twelve years ago, my daughter was 15. Despite the fact that, at the time, I had 26 years' professional experience in the social services -- the majority of which were with adolescents -- no matter what I did, I couldn't "fix" the problem. PACE was a lifesaver for us. My daughter was attending an alternative school which became the site for Florida's only off-site PACE Reach Program. Counselor Lorraine provided guidance, friendship and support to us both during a very rough path in our "journey" through adolescence. PACE was one of the few highlights of my daughter's less-than-stellar high-school years. Through PACE, she felt cared-for, accepted and safe in a sometimes-scary school.
The #1 thought that comes to mind when the name of PACE arises is that the program is so successful! Through education, counseling, training and advocacy one can watch an at-risk girl enter the program as a sullen, obstinant person and within weeks turn herself around to wanting to be a productive member of society. This is a nationally recognized program with a proven success rate!
When you look into the eyes of a PACE Girl you see a sparkle of a dream that turns into a reality through PACE due to everyone's continued dedication this fine organization. I just can't let that sparkle die and will continue to help light the flame for these girls to achieve their dreams.
I love this organization. I have been involved with them in various capacities for at least eight years now. The atmoshpere provided for these girls is both positive and happy. It has truned many lives around. Board members go out of their way to see that the center gets what it needs to continue to support these young ladies, and they have fun doing it. Every member of the staff makes the welfare of these girls come first, and it really shows. Every person associated with the center, from the director down to the students, participates in fundraising. Board members plan events, faculty and parents attend, and the students either decorate or put on programs. It's all a part of the PACE spirit!
PACE Jacksonville is a wonderful educational organization that strives to honor the girls as they counsel and motivate the girls to attain their high school diploma. They teach the girls about honoring themselves through the Spirited Girl's program. I have been on many tours at PACE for myself and to share PACE with my friends and colleagues. At each tour a different girl or girls share their personal story. Although each girl's story is different, every ending seems to be the same. They love PACE and are thankful and blessed to be a part of the program and they all say that without PACE they would never have finished high school.
PACE is magic!!! I have seen these girls change right in front of my eyes. You plant a seed and then you watch it grow into a beautiful flower. I was very impressed with the staff and mangement at PACE. There is so much passion and care shown daily to the girls as they walk the path of life altering events and changes. I attended a recent Graduation and witnessed 29 girls walking across the stage and receive their diplomas. I cried the entire time as their stories were shared with the audience. Amazing experience for me!!
PACE is unlike any non-profit I have had the pleasure and privilege of serving. I know for a fact that every dollar invested in the PACE program will result in a change of life for the girls at the school. I have personally witnessed angry, disenchanted girls transforming into confident and ambitious young women after going through the program. The staff is not only knowledgeable, but also displays a limitless compassion and optimism that is infectious. It is my personal honor to serve on the board and I will remain on the board as long as they will have me.
PACE Executive Directors and staff make the programs work. Girls come to the Centers needy in so many ways. They leave the Centers with a whole new outlook, with academic improvement, with goals, and with HOPE. Seeing this happen is an inspiration to Board and volunteers. The counselors and teachers go out of their way to "love the girls until they can love themselves". Financial contribution provide the "extras" that take this program out of the ordinary and into the unbelievable. PACE works!