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Pace Girls Share a Powerful Message of Belonging During the Holidays 

It’s OK to feel different about the holidays. For young women and girls, it is especially important to have access to resources that help them cope with seasonal stress, depression and anxiety brought on by the winter season.   

Pace Jacksonville’s Performing Arts Club invites girls to engage, collaborate and raise their voices through music, art, dance and spoken word. The arts have a unique ability to capture stories while giving a voice to both individual and collective experiences.  

Pace Jacksonville girls performed at Pace Center for Girls National Office.

We spoke with Pace girls about what inspired their recent spoken word performance: 

“Our inspiration for the piece was the reality of what Christmas can be for some people. It can be really hard. The poem represents that you can find happiness within yourself.” — Bri 

“We all came together and picked the songs that we like. We went off the vibe — if we all liked the song and if matched the message we wanted to send, then we chose it. It was very group based. I think that is what was best about the experience. Some people may not have a family, and do not have someone to spend the holidays with. Half the girls in the performance, I didn’t know before. And this experience brought us together.” — Jay    

“Our message was to spread joy to those who may not be having a good day.” — Destiny 

When asked about their favorite winter traditions and the girls shared: 

“I go to Puerto Rico every other Christmas, and we listen to the Parrandas [traditional Puerto Rican music] and attend all the festivities they have in Puerto Rico. We make gingerbread houses, eat traditional Puerto Rican food and have turkey.” — Jay    

“This year my family changed our typical tradition, and they let me decorate the tree. I put a hat on the top of the tree rather than a star. The hat represents the hat I usually wear.”  — Harper  

“My family and I hang out a lot during the year, but during Christmas it feels more special. It feels like a time for families to get together.  We spend a lot of time together cooking and enjoying each other’s company.” — Kayla  

Pace serves hundreds of girls from countless different backgrounds across Florida, Georgia and South Carolina. We are proud to create a safe and inclusive environment that recognizes girls for their unique experiences and identities. 

Are you a girl who’s interested in Pace? Know a girl who may benefit from our programs? Click here to learn more about life at Pace and how you can enroll. Sometimes just asking a girl how she is doing can be a crucial step to prevention or to beginning a healing journey. 

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