PACE Center for Girls Escambia Santa Rosa began at a small facility behind University Mall in 1994. One year later, we moved to a 4000 square foot facility on the Pensacola State College campus, and have enjoyed a partnership with PSC for the past twenty years. In 2013 we relocated to our current 13,500 square foot facility at 1028 Underwood Avenue. Since opening our doors in 1994, we have served more than 2,000 girls through three distinct components: Academic, Social Services and Transition Services.
“When you're surrounded by people who share a passionate commitment
around a common purpose, anything is possible.” - Howard Schultz
PACE believes in girls. We are PASSIONATELY COMMITTED to empowering and inspiring young women in our community. At PACE Escambia Santa Rosa, lives are changed every day.
Loni readily admits that her home life wasn’t always the best. She says, “In ninth grade, my mom started dating an abusive drug addict. But I was an all-star softball player and thought ‘no one can touch me, nothing can harm me – I’m a jock.’ I was wrong. The constant drama at home started affecting me and bled into my school life. I started skipping class and ditching school. Things continued to escalate with my mom and her boyfriend while my grades dropped. I started using pills and weed to calm my constant anxiety. Eventually my mom broke things off with the boyfriend and filed for a restraining order, but only after he threw her through a window, pinned her to the ground and threatened to kill her.”
In the middle of her challenges at home, Loni found out she was pregnant and thought she had no choice by to drop out of school and become a teen parent. An unexpected miscarriage led her to refocus on high school, but classmates bullied her for losing the child. She and her mother found PACE Center for Girls at a time when she had no interest in graduating, but once she gave PACE a chance, her GPA rose. She looks forward to graduating high school then going to college to study graphic design and get an MBA.
How many girls served annually? Approximately 117
What is the average age? 15
Why do girls attend PACE Escambia-Santa Rosa? 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…
68% of our girls were failing one or more classes prior to attending PACE
32% of our girls had prior arrests before attending PACE
16% of our girls used drugs prior to attending PACE
What kind of success do girls have after leaving PACE?
87% had no involvement with Juvenile Justice within a year of leaving PACE!
90% were in school or employed three years after leaving PACE!
93% improved their academic performance!
1028 Underwood Avenue
Pensacola, FL 32504
For enrollment referrals, please ask for:
850-478-7060 ext. 7006
Susan Finger, Board Chair
Cyndi Warren, Vice Chair
Jenn Bear, Secretary
Laura Keene, Treasurer
Marrianne McMahon, Immediate Past Chair
Denise Ables, Member at Large
Lisa Combs, Member at Large
Sharon Marcus, Member at Large
Mary Jane Bass