PACE Center for Girls Collier is located in the rural community of Immokalee, Florida and was founded in 1998. During the early years the Immokalee center served 35 girls and since then the center has grown to serve 67 girls every day. Led by Executive Director, Marianne Kearns, M.Ed. PACE Collier’s 23 staff consists of Masters level counselors and a full academic teaching staff. Working together, PACE Collier enables these young women to complete their education, build self-esteem, and develop personal, social and family relationship skills. Our one of a kind center includes a state of the art kitchen and a gymnasium. Two healthy meals are provided each day along with a growing physical education program where HS credits are being offered to our girls. The PACE Collier center strives to provide these services and more in a safe and loving environment.
PACE Collier has served more than 1,200 girls, since opening in 1998. One of those 1,200 girls is Isabel and her story is truly remarkable.
Isabel is 15 years old and excited for her future. She hopes to one day become a pediatric surgeon. Isabel, however, was not always so positive about her future. At 14 Isabel was diagnosed with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Isabel began trying to shut the bad memories out resulting in her not only forgetting the bad memories but the good memories as well. Before Isabel was old enough to process and handle this, she misbehaved and hated going to school, resulting in horrible grades and an even worse attitude. Isabel was failing 90% of her classes her freshman year and didn’t see how important her education was until she came to PACE. “A lot of times I still lack confidence, overthink situations, and feel like giving up, “ says Isabel, “On those days, PACE reminds me that I am capable of greatness and in those moments I couldn’t be anymore grateful to be a PACE girl.”
"A lot of times I still lack confidence, overthink situations, and feel like giving up, “ says Isabel, “On those days, PACE reminds me that I am capable of greatness and in those moments I couldn’t be anymore grateful to be a PACE girl."
How many girls served annually? Approximately 115
What is the average age? 14
Why do girls attend PACE Collier? Girls attend PACE to get appropriate counseling and education in a nurturing environment. To become enrolled, they must be between 12 to 17 years old, at least one year behind in school, and have 4 or more risk factors.
What are risk factors? Risk factors are the underlying issues that lead girls to academic underachievement. These are issues such as: foster home placement, substance abuse (by girl or family member), domestic violence, incarceration of a family member, neglect, physical/emotional/sexual abuse, grief, emotional health concerns, low income, and more.
Think about these statistics…
71% of our girls were failing one or more classes prior to attending PACE
4% of our girls had a prior arrest before attending PACE
5% of our girls used drugs and alcohol prior coming to PACE
What kind of success do girls have after leaving PACE?
100% had no involvement with Juvenile Justice within a year of leaving PACE!
90% were in school or employed three years after leaving PACE!
95% improved their academic performance!
160 North 1st Street
Immokalee, FL 34142
For enrollment referrals, please ask for:
Intake-Transition Services Counselor
239-842-5406 ext. 5408
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