PACE Center for Girls of Lee County offers year round counseling and academic services for girls, ages 12-18, who are facing challenges such as foster care, domestic violence, abuse and neglect, death of a parent, substance abuse, and/or family history of incarceration. At the request of community leaders and elected officials, PACE Lee was established in 2007 and since opening its doors has helped nearly 600 girls find success in school, generate a positive relationship with their families and peers, and become productive members of our community.
Nov. 16, 2012 - PACE Center for Girls of Lee County welcomes Janie K. Smalley, Ed.D. as executive director. Smalley will provide the vision and leadership to accomplish the mission of PACE by guiding the daily operations of the Center and ensuring delivery of quality services to the PACE girls and their families.
Smalley has already been an integral part of PACE’s success. For the past three years, she has served as the development director at the PACE Center in Jacksonville, the first Center of the 17 that now make up the statewide agency.
Smalley has more than 10 years of experience in resource development. For the past six years, she has worked with nonprofits to diversify their funding sources and increase their revenues. Prior to working with nonprofits, Janie worked in higher education as a grant writer at Florida State College at Jacksonville and at the University of North Florida as the Assistant Director of the Public Opinion Research Laboratory.
Building on her experience and knowledge of the nonprofit sector, Smalley pursued a Doctorate in Educational Leadership. Her scholarly research focused on leaders of high-performing nonprofit organizations in Northeast Florida. She received her doctorate in 2011 from the University of North Florida.
PACE Center for Girls of Lee County hosted its sixth annual luncheon on Wednesday, Nov. 7, 2012 raising donations and pledges totaling $110,760 for daily operations and $32,010 towards a capital campaign for a new facility. At the “Carried Away with PACE” hot air balloon themed event, PACE Lee's new executive director, Janie K. Smalley, Ed.D., was announced, members of PACE’s Believing in Girls (BIG) Giving Society were recognized and Senator Lizbeth Benacquisto was honored as Senator of the Year by representatives from PACE, Inc.’s state office headquartered in Jacksonville, Fla.
The most moving part of the program, however, was a parent testimonial by John Agnew, attorney at Henderson, Franklin, Starnes & Holt, P.A., who previously enrolled his oldest daughter in PACE. "Nothing is worse than knowing your child is in pain and being helpless to quickly make it better," revealed Agnew.
In the wake of recent high-profile abuse scandals, three United Way partner agencies, Abuse Counseling & Treatment, Inc., Children’s Advocacy Center of Southwest Florida and PACE Center for Girls of Lee County are teaming up to present the first annual “Speak Up! Breaking the Silence of Abuse” from 7:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. on Tuesday, May 8, 2012 at Harborside Event Center in downtown Fort Myers. Tickets, $35 each or $250 for a reserved table for eight, may be purchased online at www.actabuse.com or by calling (239) 939-2553.
Sponsored by Fort Myers Police Department, The News-Press Media Group, Florida Weekly and WINK News, the event will feature Victor Rivas Rivers whose uplifting message has inspired and motivated audiences around the country to help break the silence of abuse. Mr. Rivers, New York Times best-selling author of “A Private Family Matter”, is the Spokesperson for the National Network to End Domestic Violence, an acclaimed actor, former Miami Dolphin football player, and Florida State University alumni. In addition to Mr. Rivers’ issue-focused keynote address, guests will enjoy a breakfast buffet and book signing. Resources to advocate against abuse and referrals for help will also be available.
With a projected attendance of over 400 guests, Speak Up! will attract community leaders, as well as attorneys, law enforcement, elected officials, educators, health care and human service professionals, media and the general public. Continuing education credits are available to nurses, social workers and mental health counselors (provider #50-16 Exp. 11/1/13) and through the Lee County Bar Association (CLE provider #0224280). Sponsorship opportunities are available at levels ranging from $500 to $10,000.
For tickets and more information about Speak Up!, visit www.actabuse.com or call (239) 939-2553.
Over 350 community leaders and guests attended the Dream BIG Luncheon benefiting PACE Center for Girls of Lee County on Nov. 1 at the Broadway Palm Dinner Theatre. Under the leadership of co-chairs Heather Fitzenhagen DeBoest and Margaret Depew, two initiatives were presented to attendees resulting in donations and pledges totaling $64,000 for annual operations and $199,000 towards a capital campaign to open a new school. The funds raised for capital will be applied towards a $250,000 challenge gift from the Kleist Family Foundation.
“Eleanore Kleist and her family have pledged a very generous lead gift of $250,000, but they’ve called on our community to match their support,” explains Gail Markham, PACE Lee board chair, “It was thrilling to have so many friends step-up so we can meet the challenge and move forward with getting our PACE girls into a new building. These girls deserve it!”
September 26, 2011 - Jennifer Marsico, a teacher at PACE Center for Girls of Lee County in Fort Myers, Fla. was one of 40 teachers nationwide chosen to participate in a food science workshop developed and implemented in a partnership between the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA), and the Graduate School USA. The one-week workshop for middle and high school science teachers took place in Washington, D.C. this summer.