The foundation of PACE is a gender-responsive culture which provides a safe environment that celebrates girls. This includes girls like Veronica, who came to PACE in 2014.
Veronica was deemed ungovernable by her parents and she had a history of mental health concerns and was not achieving academic success in public school. During her first few weeks at the center, she would not speak with staff or girls or even respond to requests. Counseling and academic staff began intensive work with Veronica, taking a trauma informed approach and building a trusting relationship that allowed Veronica to blossom. As a result of her time at PACE, Veronica’s attendance in school improved, she began building relationships and trust with students and staff, she took additional classes online, and she became an honor roll student.
Stories of transformation happen across the state at PACE Centers, where our supportive staff members respond to and celebrate each girl’s unique strengths and challenges. For 30 years PACE has demonstrated what happens when we all believe in the power and potential of girls.
Girls attending PACE have histories that include trauma caused by sexual abuse, school failure, physical abuse, family instability, bullying, and poverty, but after attending PACE, 91% of girls had no involvement with the criminal justice system, 90% of girls improved academically, including girls who came to PACE a grade level or more behind, and 90% of girls were in school, higher education, or employed after leaving PACE.