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
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 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!
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.
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 Center for Girls in West Palm Beach is a terrific non-profit agency that invests time in energy in helping at risk girls get on track and pursue their dreams. I have had the privilege of participating the book and breakfast club at the center for the past 6 years or so. Each month, I look forward to extensive discussions with the girls in the reading group about their views of the book of the month. Through these discussions, I have learned as much about the girls and their experiences it today's world, as they have learned from me and the other professional women who participate.
No where in the world do the lives of girls matter more than right here. Unfortunately we still have a long way to go. Pace is making a true contribution to valuing the lives of girls by helping some of our wounded girls find their way back to health and happiness. At the critical moment when a girl can either recover or fall farther, Pace enters the picture and wraps its loving arms around these girls. I have been connected to this program for over ten years and I am amazed at the level of sustained energy and passion that continues year after year. The staff and board work well together and the focus never leaves helping our girls. The high level of success bears out the effectiveness of Pace's nationally recognized gender-specific programming. This charity truly proves the saying "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure".
PACE is a wonderful organization that helps young women turn their lives around. We serve middle and high school girls who have gotten into trouble, or who may be heading for trouble. Most of these girls come from troubled backgrounds - broken homes, parents with drug problems, domestic violence etc.. Their lives have not been easy and it is easy for them to stray down the wrong path. PACE is able to provide a nurturing haven for these girls where they can develop their potential and start believing in what they are capable of doing. PACE stands for Practical Academic Cultural Education and that is what we provide. We are not just a school, but we develop all aspects of these girls' lives. Some of their journeys are amazing and their gratitude for what PACE does for them is overwhelming. Our success rate is over 90% which is unheard of. PACE is a jewel in our community that deserves the support it gets. Graduation is today and to see those girls graduate when they never thought they were capable ie very rewarding. Through the hard work of the staff and generous support of the community PACE stays fiscally sound.
My experiences with the PACE Center for Girls has been ongoing now for over 3 years. I have seen changes in these girls, and the lives around them. Most notably, however, has been with my now 15 year-old son. He has been working with PACE for the last 2 years, and the changes he has helped foster in the girls has helped him grow into a stronger leader, and an advoxate for better program. He assists with programs from fund raising to clothing drives, Easter baskets and Holiday gifts. He participates in quarterly clean-up events, and would like to one day go to the school to help with tutoring, when he is old enough. The changes I have seen in him have caused me to step back and really look at the program, and made me realize just what the program does. To keep the girls off the wrong path, and allow them to see what the right path is, to gently guide them along that right path and show them what it means to be an active member of society, and help them get there through positive re-enforcement, and prove to them it can be done, through thier own hard work and dedication, and not dwelling on the bad stuff, but focusing on the good stuff. PACE Center for Girls is the way to do it right. If PACE Center for Girls can be duplicated, some how copied through out the states, I would think it a good thing. There are not enough of them.