PACE Center for Girls of Marion County is located in Ocala, Florida and was founded in 2001. Since opening, PACE Marion has served more than 850 girls with academic, counseling and transition services.
Kadijah began her journey at PACE in the 10th grade. Before attending PACE, Kadijah suffered for several years with depression and bi-polar disorder. Kadijah was physically hurting herself as a result of previous sexual abuse.
Kadijah heard about PACE several times before making the commitment to “leave the past in the past,” as she says, and attend PACE. She decided to attend PACE with a new attitude. Kadijah stated, “The teachers at PACE understand that I’ve had some struggles in my past, but don’t judge me. They treat me with respect.”
"The teachers at PACE understand that I’ve had some struggles in my past, but don’t judge me. They treat me with respect."
Kadijah has not only accomplished her academic goals, receiving her high school diploma and culinary certification from MTI in June 2012, but has also accomplished many of her emotional and mental goals. Kadijah is now getting ready to graduate from Cosmetology school.
“Thank you PACE for helping me out of the deep hole I was trapped in for so long and showing me that the sky is the limit and I can be anything I want to be.”
How many girls served annually? Approximately 146
What is the average age? 14.3
Why do girls attend PACE Marion? 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…
61% of our girls were failing one or more classes prior to coming to PACE
20% of our girls had a prior arrest before coming to PACE
16% of our girls used drugs and alcohol prior coming to PACE
What kind of success do girls have after leaving PACE?
95% had no involvement with Juvenile Justice within a year of leaving PACE!
86% improved their academic performance!
94% were in school or employed three years after leaving PACE!
328 NE 1st Avenue
Ocala, FL 34470
For enrollment referrals, please ask for:
Tracy Parks email
David Moore, Chair- R&L Carriers
LeAnn Mackey Barnes, Vice Chair-Public Defender's Office
Suz Geeraerts, Secretary - State Attorney's Office
Diana Heme, Resource Development Chair- Matthew's Consulting Group
Suzy Heinbockel, Board Development Chair- Community Volunteer
Pamela Calero – The Reilly Arts Center
Ginger Carroll - Ocala Health - West Marion Community Hospital
Devon Chestnut – Cox Communications
Dana Demilio – R&R Ocala Properties/Demilio Photography
Lisa Fontaine-Dorsey – Marion County Public Schools
Joe Graff – CenterState Bank
Amy Graham - Roberts Real Estate
Shay Langley - Lamar Outdoors
Lisa Miller - Regions Bank
Becky Schatt - Schatt Realty