Girls Going Places

Girls Going Places

Grant Year: 2021 | Focus Area: Health & Wellness | Grant Amount: $101,820 | Grant Status: In Progress

Girls Going Places

PACE Center for Girls, Inc.

The mission of Pace Center for Girls (Pace) is to provide girls and young women an opportunity for a better future through education, counseling, training, and advocacy. Pace programs serve girls ages 11 to 17 with three or more adverse childhood experiences, who are at high-risk for delinquent behavior. Pace employs gender-responsive, trauma-informed, prevention and early intervention programs for girls with multiple risk factors. Pace was established as an alternative to institutionalization or incarceration for adolescent girls at-risk of high school dropout and involvement in the justice system. Pace opened its doors locally in 1994, serving more than 3,000 girls with a focus on providing academic, social services, and transition services. These are delivered via three distinct programs, the Pace Day Program, the Pace GED Program, and the Pace Reach Program. The Pace Day Program offers year-round academic instruction for girls with a 12:1 student/teacher ratio. Pace GED Program is for girls in the Pace Day Program and offers preparation for completion of the GED. Pace Reach is a therapeutic prevention program designed to serve at-risk girls is Escambia County who are not enrolled in the Pace Day Program and offers flexible mobile service to reach the girl where she is – at home, school, or the community.

Project Description

Pace is responsive to all the needs of the girls, understanding that to truly make the positive change necessary to heal and grow that the girls must have access to services outside of the Pace Center. Pace wants to have the ability to safely and reliably transport the up to 60 girls that participate in the Pace Day program to the health department, job interviews, museums, community service activities, educational field trips, parks for recreation, Tallahassee for Pace Day at the Capitol, presentations in the community, dental appointments, GED exams, home visits and court appearances. IMPACT 100 funds will be used to purchase three new Toyota Sienna Hybrid vans for the Pace Day Program to replace the three vans that need to be retired due to safety and maintenance concerns. Two are 2009 and the third one has over 101,000 miles. They are not currently considered to be reliable. The new five door vans can safety transport up to 8 passengers and are equipped with the latest safety features. They are expected to be in service 10-12 years. Also included will be magnets for each of the three vehicles with Pace Center for Girls, Inc., and IMPACT 100 Pensacola Bay Area prominently identified.

Community Impact

The need and impact of this project to help with transportation for at risk teen girls is enormous. Not all service needs can be met in the Pace Center. This grant will allow the Pace Center for Girls to expand their Day Program opportunities by transporting the girls to a variety of needed programs in the community, including medical and counseling appointments, community services and educational enrichment programs. Pace is currently serving an average of 60 girls at a time and would like to serve more. Due to COVID, and the multiple ways it has increased stress on teens and the programs that serve them, the need is greater than ever. Pace has a proven record of accomplishment and one year after completing the Day Program, 95% of the girls remain crime free. The additional services provided in the community made possible by the new vans will help these girls become strong, self-sufficient members of the community. Pace girls will, and do, make a positive impact on the community by being a contributing member, an employee, a neighbor, a parent, a partner, and a citizen.