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 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.
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.
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!
PACE School for Girls makes a difference in the lives of at-risk girls in Florida. PACE gives girls who aren't doing well adjusting to regular school the type of family atmosphere that they need to feel valued and special. PACE helps girls who have suffered abuse and hurt in their lives see their great value to our community! PACE Alachua has been known to do anything to serve girls. Whether it is facilitating dentist appointments or finding community members willing to renovate a bathroom, PACE finds the issues preventing girls from doing their best and works tirelessly to solve those issues!
PACE Center of Girls is a way for girls to have a second chance to succeed. It is a way for girls to avoid juvenile detention centers and jail. PACE allows girls to not only get the academic teaching they need, it also allows them to build their self confidence, learn to control and deal with their anger and plan for the future. PACE gives girls hope, encouragement and a place to dream with teachers and counselors who believe in them.
Pace Center for Girls helps girls catch-up on school work so they can graduate from high school and become a valuable members of society. Often the girls are so far behind academically that they need more help than a teacher can offer. We put on events that raise money for extras like tutors, field trips and even occasional dental work.
I became involved with the PACE Center for Girls, Inc. through another non-profit, CREW (Commercial Real Estate Women) a local chapter of a national organization that fosters the benefit of women in the commercial real estate industry. We chose our philanthropic partner to be PACE Center for Girls, Inc. as they also foster the benefit of women. The PACE Center for Girls is an alternative school that assists the high risk girls with graduating high school or earning their GED. They not only deter the girls from any juvenile delinquency problem but they teach them how to be believe in themselves and to work through their problems. The staff and volunteers care so much about the girls success and it shows in the way the girls respond to them. There are so few programs like this for girls but we need more as they are very effective.
I have been associated with other non-profits around the country. PACE is by far the best-run organization I've seen. The positive leadership continually LIVES the message and continually emphasizes, "it's all about the girls" and what is best for them. The staff and management continually juggle the economic challenges everyone has with a positive, problem-solving outlook: "what can we get done and where can we find something more/different to help out" instead of "oh, dear, look what's happened to us." They take pride in the accomplishments of the girls every single day -- big achievements and very small, private steps forward. And the girls respond to the care and consistent program by achieving more than they ever thought they could. It's like watching little drops of water create a flowering meadow in the dessert. Respect and a little encouragement -- in a safe, but structured environment -- and the girls grow into viable, dynamic women. And PACE takes its misson for the community seriously. They understand donors need for validation. The amount of outcome tracking, and time making sure the programs instituted are working correctly is amazing. They understand people want to give to a RESULT, not just to an organization trying to accomplish something. They make sure they can PROVE the program works. And the results speak for themselves (see sara10's comments). The graduates come back to support the efforts of the organization. I am proud to be affiliated with PACE.
The PACE Center for Girls is a safe haven for teenage girls who have gotten "off track" and have no viable or realistic way to make changes in their lives unless they find, and get placement in the PACE organization. It has been my experience from working on the Board for at least 5 years, that PACE gives our girls a second chance-not only at their education, but at life! I have heard girl after girl tell us that PACE changed their life and most times saved their lives. How? The unbelievable dedication of our Director,Faculty and Staff are difficult to explain. They tell us they love their jobs and they truly do. They love the girls through all the anger,heartache,shame, poverty, health issues, and physical violations that most have experienced and patiently allow them their feelings. The girls at PACE are not only loved, but are taught new ways of coping,about boundaries and self protection, self esteem and so much more. They are tutored, taught, take field trips to museums, have outside speaker programs, and given experiences in our community that they would never have been able to receive otherwise. PACE is the place-come see for yourself if you have one in your community.
I was introduced to PACE 5 years ago by a friend of mine. I was immediately impressed with the quality of the people, the program and the facility. The stories the girls tell of the trials they have faced and how PACE has helped them to believe in themselves and their futures touched my heart. Having raised my own daughter through some difficult times, I can clearly see the benefit of the gender specific programs at PACE. No matter what we may say, girls are different from boys and they need different approaches! Helping the girls get off on the right foot as they start their lives will help all of us in the long run.
I enjoy helping others but I like to know that my time and money are well spent so it is with great passion that I help the PACE Center for Girls in Pensacola, Florida. It is not only a fact that PACE helps young ladies in trouble but over 80% of these young ladies do not return to the juvenile justice system which is a win-win for the girls and the tax payers! PACE Center for Girls in Pensacola is a model non profit organization.