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!
I have been impressed with the training provided PACE Center teachers in research based strategies of instruction. I am a college professor in special education and was hired by PACE to provide middle school/high school literacy strategies for reading across the curriculum. The teachers who attended the two day workshop were awesome! They worked collaboratively modeling for each other strategies to engage diverse learners on varying ability levels. The effort of both the teachers and the overall administrative support was exceptional. I am pleased to have been associated with the PACE Center for Girls.
PACE is a great organization to help girls ages 12 - 18 develop into productive citizens through education and counseling. Staff and volunteers are dedicated to the overall success of each and every girl. I am proud to be affiliated with such a great organization.
I have served on the PACE Board for six years and I continue to be amazed at how girls who are victimized, abused and at risk, eventually find their voices and begin to believe in themselves. Once this transformation occurs, there is no turning back. They begin to achieve academically and gain personal pride in their achievements. They learn to respect themselves and others and they become a natural support system for each other. PACE is just a place to learn and be counseled, it is a place to heal. PACE is a model program that should be duplicated nationally. PACE makes a difference without lockups and humiliation. PACE builds dignity. PACE works. Shortcomings? Not enough funding to attract, hire and retain teachers particularly in math and science.
PACE Center for Girls is an outstanding organization committed to the encouragement, development, growth, education and nurturing of girls and young women who have been victims of abuse - physical, emotional, and sexual. Gail Markham was kind to invite me to participate in the development of the Center here in Lee County. Watching the girls grow and blossom as they come into the system from dysfunctional and often non existant family lives into girls that have self esteem and extroadinary academic improvement.
Our group worked closely with the staff at PACE to purge, declutter, and organize PACE’s main office areas, files, storage areas, donations and conference room. From our first interactions with the staff, it was evident how dedicated the employees are to improving the lives of the young women who participate in their program. Their enthusiasm for the organization pushed us all to work a little harder and a little longer to create an even better environment for the girls and the staff.
PACE Center for Girls is an absolutely outstanding organization committed to the encouragement, development, growth, education and nurturing of girls and young women who have been victims of abuse - physical, emotional, and sexual. I got involved with PACE through a dear friend and college roommate. What a blessing it was to me to be associated with such wonderful people. All of the staff shared a passionate commitment to helping these girls who face so many challenges in their lives. It provides a safe haven for girls to enjoy being a girl, and allows them to gain confidence and improve academic performance. Girls are often referred by the judicial system, as a result of minor crimes or repeated truancy. The majority of girls in the PACE program never re-offend, and most either complete a GED, or return to public education and obtain a high school diploma. The confidence they obtain through the PACE program allows them to become responsible young women, and contributors to our society in a positive way. PACE provides this opportunity for growth and healing by providing small education classes (about 10 per class), frequent counseling, and support for the many challenges that face these young women.
I became involved with Pace Center after much prompting from a friend, another self employed business woman. I went on a mentor day and really fell in love with the concept of empowering young women who are at risk and giving them the ability to work out of a bad situation. The girls shared with us their stories. One girl was homeless and afraid to let people know. She had her backpack and that was the extent of her belongings. Not only did she gratuate from High School but she is going to college now. We are able to give the girls college scholarships and provide hope that they can get out of the downward spiral that they are in if they follow our program. The girls are fun to work with and very anxious to learn from our Board. Some of us also came from an abusive situation and have been able to put it behind us and actually use that horrible odeal to make us better not bitter. We can honestly relate to them and give them hope and encouragement. We don't need more girls in our jails and prisons. Sometimes all it takes is a helping hand. Pace is well organized, very structured and monitored by local and state agencies.
I have seen many of these girls mature to achieve self confidence, academic milestones, and a personal pride in their self esteem. I have seen many aspire to be leaders in their community and benificial supporters to their families. This is one of the finest programs in the State of Florida for young girls, with great potential who have gone astry.
PACE is an unbelievable opportunity for young women to have a second chance at life. This center is for girls whose lives had been traveling down a very destructive path, for a variety of reasons. PACE assists the girls in understanding what has transpired in their lives to get to such a tragic state, and allows them a safe environment to work through these emotional challenges, and to rebuild their esteem and confidence. It assists them in making different choices for their future. It has them interact with community leaders and supporters to show them that many successful and happy folks had similar bumps in the road. And it keeps these young ladies out of jail, giving them the chance to become our future leaders through the academic and emotional growth facilitated by the amazing staff and teachers. I feel blessed and honored to serve this program!
The Pinellas PACE Center for Girls has helped more than 2,000 girls reclaim their self-esteem, regain their lost academic credits, achieve emotional stability, find their voice and achieve success. It is the only gender-specific program that helps girls stay out of trouble, teaches life management skills and helps them learn how to learn. In today's society, more juvenile females than ever are entering the justice system and PACE is the only alternative to incarceration that works!