Pace believes that all girls, regardless of their story, deserve safe and supportive spaces to heal and develop into strong, compassionate, and successful women. We incorporate self-reflection and mindfulness into curriculum and encourage creativity as a means of self-expression.
In all its various forms, art is a powerful tool for expression. We spoke with Pace Macon girls and Rebecca Richard, Reach Program Manager at Pace Macon, about their recent participation in an art therapy session at Booker T. Washington Center in Georgia.
Eric Gordan, an art educator from Taylor County High School, led the session and shared with girls that they were free to put on their canvases whatever spoke to them as they painted self-portraits.
“Activities such as these create a culture of camaraderie, which is very important because often girls with trauma build a defensive wall where they keep to themselves,” shared Rebecca. “This creative therapy technique allows girls to be vulnerable.”
The Pace Reach Program is designed to be community based and to meet girls where they’re at: in their schools, in their homes and in their communities. Our goal is to ensure that things like transportation and finances don’t become a barrier to providing the behavioral health services that girls need.
“Only a few of these girls knew each other before this activity,” noted Rebecca. “When these girls go back to school in August, they will be able to recognize and have had a positive experience with at least one more person in their community.”
With support from an MVP: Macon Violence Prevention grant, Pace will continue to expand its Reach Programming in Georgia by adding an additional Therapist. Girls who participate in the Pace Reach Program improve their skills and ability to make healthy decisions and reduce harmful habits to their health, wellness and safety. Pace’s holistic approach cares for their physical, emotional, intellectual, spiritual and relational development needs. Through these services, girls learn how to manage stress and adversities, improve personal relationships, learn new communication skills and improve school performance.