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A Promise of Support: Lanaysia’s Journey with Pace Center for Girls

Pace’s Reach Program in South Carolina is breaking down barriers and ensuring accessibility to essential mental health and academic services. Lanaysia, a senior in the Pee Dee Region, shared her journey participating in the Reach Program at her neighborhood high school, emphasizing the transformative impact of the program and the profound bond she built with her therapist, Ms. Carla.

Ms. Carla provided Lanaysia with much more than just guidance; she became a source of safety and security in Lanaysia’s life. For girls like Lanaysia, who may have faced various challenges in their lives, this connection can be a lifeline.

Ms. Carla’s message to Lanaysia was clear: “I won’t leave you.” This simple yet powerful statement conveyed a sense of commitment and dedication that deeply resonated with Lanaysia.

A typical day in the Pace Reach Program can involve individual, peer group, and family counseling and therapy sessions, equipping middle and high school girls with the skills necessary to make healthy decisions, reduce harmful habits, and enhance their overall health, wellness, and safety.

When asked about her involvement in the Pace Reach Program, Lanaysia explained that her decision to enroll stemmed from a desire to interact with other girls. The program offered a unique opportunity for her to connect with peers who share similar experiences. In Reach, Lanaysia has not only formed meaningful relationships with other girls but has also discovered a space where she can be herself, free from judgment.

When she enrolled in the Reach program, she faced academic challenges that hindered her graduation timeline. With a dedicated support team in place, she successfully realigned her academic path to graduate on schedule. While she refrains from calling them dreams, she has set ambitious goals for herself. She envisions having a big house and becoming an athletic trainer, all while caring for her family, particularly her mother and sister.

When asked what every girl deserves, Lanaysia simply responded with “love.” Her story, along with countless others, highlights how a caring community of adults, coupled with positive mental health outcomes, can support girls on their path to bright futures.

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