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Safe Spaces: “There is nothing more secure than a place that allows you to become a better version of yourself.”

Every girl has the right to feel physically and emotionally safe.

Jaliyah, a Pace Miami girl who aspires to become a doctor, reflected on her definition of ‘safe space’ and shared: “When I come to Pace, I feel more of a homey vibe. I come to Pace, and I feel comfortable. I don’t feel scared to be here.”

At Pace, we incorporate self-reflection and mindfulness into curriculum and encourage creativity as a means of self-expression. Unique to the Pace model is “Spirited Girls,” a dedicated class that offers girls gentle guidance and supports their self-discovery and growth. The curriculum focuses on the developmental needs of girls, life and vocational skills, diversity, spirituality and empowerment.

“It’s not like other schools have classes like Spirited Girls. So, it’s unique. The class is different, so it should be a different environment,” shared Alexis, a Pace Miami girl in eleventh grade.

Jaliyah and Alexis’s reflections — along with the 80 girls who attend Pace Miami — inspired a dynamic cohort of 10 leadership Miami professionals, known as Genesis 305, to revamp and enhance Pace Miami’s Spirited Girls classroom.

“Due to the short time frame of our project, we were unsure that we would gain the necessary funds to put the Spirited Girls classroom together. But as we as a team continued to tell the story of Pace, more and more people saw the dream that we had for the program, and the support from the community blossomed,” shared Jessie Caceres, Events & Communications Specialist at Chapman Partnership and member of Genesis 305.

Through involvement with the Miami Chamber of Commerce, the Genesis 305 team remained steadfast in their efforts to fundraise for Pace Miami and immerse themselves in Pace’s vision.

“All of the furniture was donated for the classroom which gave us the opportunity to catapult the rest of the project to not only focus on the classroom but the school itself. It’s been an incredible experience seeing the power of community work towards this common goal,” noted Jessie.

Genesis 305 ultimately fundraised over $61,000 to support the project — accomplishing well beyond their goal. The team coined the term ‘heart work’ and repainted the entire Pace Miami building, partnered with a local muralist to develop a mural inspired by Pace girls, provided building repairs, and donated new technology.

“Pace taught us that girls learn differently, they need the space to thrive, to create, to process and decide who they will become when they leave. There is nothing more secure than a place that allows you to become a better version of yourself,” shared Ekaete Ikpeinyang, member of Genesis 305 and Director of Clinical Nursing Operations & Integration at Jackson Health System.

If you’d like to contribute to Pace’s Spirited Girls programming, or would like to learn more about how to get involved with Pace, visit: Get Involved | Pace Center for Girls 

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