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Pace Provides Teen Girls Safe Spaces to Express Themselves through Art

All girls, regardless of their story, deserve safe and supportive spaces to heal that help them to become strong, compassionate, and successful women. Through creative outlets, girls can find their inner voice, examine values and morals, and look towards the future.  

During National Poetry Month, Pace girls are teaming up with community partners for a series of art and poetry workshops.  

Pace Miami partnered with O, Miami Poetry Festival and Bakehouse Art Complex to teach girls the fundamental principles of art-making and poetry writing as vehicles for self-expression. The eight-week program, led by writer Arsimmer McCoy and visual artist Patricia Monclus, culminated with a poetry reading celebration and publication of a limited-edition book of the girls’ work. 

Photo Credit: Diana Espin 

“The girls are enjoying all the [art/poetry] sessions,” said Britney, Spirited Girls Teacher at Pace Miami. “The educators are doing a magnificent job with instructions and engagement.  Pace Miami is very grateful to have this infused art opportunity within the Spirited Girls curriculum.” 

Pace’s Spirited Girls class focuses on the developmental needs of girls, life and vocational skills, diversity, spirituality, and empowerment. In the class, girls can express themselves in a context of gentle guidance that supports their self-discovery and growth.   

We sat down with Annah from Pace Lee, who wrote her first poem about the unique strengths of a woman in the Spirited Girls class. Annah shared: “Writing is important because I am able to express myself and get more creative with what I do. In the Spirited Girls! class, we learned about the struggles women went through, and the class helped me express myself. Women have not been treated with the same respect and equality as men, and what I want people to take away from my poem is that women are strong and able to get through anything.”  

Annah was the first middle school girl at Pace Lee to accomplish the Grace stage, the highest level of Pace’s Growth & Change Recognition Program. Girls move through the recognition program as they complete milestones that align with Pace’s nine guiding principles.  

Annah’s counselor Ms. Leslie reflected on Annah’s growth and development thus far at Pace: “Annah has made strong relationships with positive peers. She has straight A’s and a 100% attendance rate. But she doesn’t give herself enough credit. She’s an absolute rock star.”  

In all its various forms, art is a powerful tool for expression for girls like Annah and is weaved throughout the fabric of Pace’s programs.  

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