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Empowering Tomorrow’s Leaders: Pace Center for Girls’ Inaugural Girls Leadership Institute 

In a world where empowering young women and lifting their voices is paramount, Pace Center for Girls took a meaningful step forward by hosting its inaugural Girls Leadership Institute. This three-day celebration of learning, growth, and sisterhood brought together girls from 21 Pace locations across the state of Florida, fostering an environment where they could learn valuable leadership skills, address challenges, and create innovative solutions to shape the future of Pace. 

Unveiling Leadership Skills and Innovative Solutions 

Through workshops, discussions, and interactive sessions, Pace girls explored the intricacies of effective leadership, honed their communication abilities, and gained insights into problem-solving strategies. 

But it wasn’t just about theoretical knowledge. The heart of the Institute was in identifying opportunities and solutions to strengthen the Pace experience for future girls.  

“My favorite part of the institute was collaborating with other girls and bringing forward solutions to challenges — like transportation and dress code — that we all think are needed.” — Jazlyn, Junior, Pace Volusia-Flagler 

A Glimpse into History and Inspiration 

During the second day of the Institute, girls gathered at the historic Ritz Theatre and Museum in Jacksonville for a morning filled with inspiration and empowerment. Stepping into the corridors of history, they were reminded of the strength and resilience of those who came before them. The museum’s legacy served as a powerful reminder that they, too, have the potential to leave their mark on the world. 

A Conversation with Pace’s President and CEO  

“My favorite part of the experience was to come together with all the girls and have the opportunity to speak to the Executive Leadership Team about what matters to us. We were able to voice what we need at Pace.” – Ryann, Senior, Pace Jacksonville 

A highlight of the Institute was the opportunity for the girls to engage in one-on-one conversations with Mary Marx, President and CEO of Pace Center for Girls. These discussions provided a platform for the girls to share their visions for the future, seek guidance, and receive inspiration from a woman who has dedicated her career to empowering young women. 

Presenting to the Future 

“It was empowering to get together with girls from across the state and collectively unite our voices. I like that the staff gave us a chance to discuss our views and opinions.” –  Serenity, Senior, Pace Clay 

At the culmination of the retreat, the girls presented their findings to the Executive Leadership Team at Pace. This was a moment of empowerment, as they showcased their innovative solutions and ideas. The girls’ poise and confidence while presenting was a testament to the transformative impact of the Institute. 

The Girls Leadership Institute was a resounding affirmation that the future is indeed in capable hands. These young leaders are not waiting for opportunities; they are creating them. The Institute was made possible thanks to the Annie E. Casey Foundation, and generous supporters including Fondation CHANEL, Florida Blue’s Women’s Affinity Group (WIN), First Horizon Bank, and Fifth Third Bank.  

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