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Sisters Defy Distance

Navigating Hours Long Commute to Achieve Success at Pace

For Shea and Precious, sisters and students at Pace Orange, the road to success has never been an easy one. The sisters go through incredible lengths just to get to Pace, but they choose to show up every single day for a better future.

Navigating buses and trains, they begin their long commute to Pace Orange at 5:00 am, traveling up to four hours every weekday to get from Deland, Florida to Winter Park, Florida.

For Shea and Precious, Pace’s holistic mental health support is what sets the programming apart from other schools. “I come to Pace because I’m able to share my feelings and get good feedback that will help me in the future. I went to three different elementary schools during our transition to moving in with our aunt and there were counselors but I didn’t have the same connection. At Pace, I’m actually able to share my feelings,” said Precious.

As the older sister, Shea feels a profound responsibility to be a role model for her younger siblings. She shared, “My siblings motivate me. I’m trying to be a role model for my younger siblings since our dad passed. I keep going and wake up every morning, not only for myself but for them.”

Shea’s experience at Pace has allowed her to open up and learn to rely on others. She candidly shared, “I’m still trying to get used to asking for help, because, after so many years of caring for my younger brother and sister, it’s kind of hard to get out of those ways — but I’m making progress slowly.”

For Precious, Shea is not just an older sister but also a source of inspiration. She explained, “My older sister motivates me because she has taken care of me my whole life. When my parents weren’t around, my sister was always there for me.”

When Shea and Precious think about their future, they see opportunities to inspire others through their creative talents. Music had always held a special place in Shea’s heart, and she believes in its power to save lives. She said, “I want to be that one person that can make a song or just a piece of music that inspires somebody else to keep going.”

Precious has a deep love for art, a form of expression that allows her to convey her feelings when words fail her. She sees art as a tool for storytelling, and her dream is to become a designer and start a fitness clothing brand.

Shea and Precious’s story is one of resilience, determination, and the transformative power of education and holistic mental health support. With their creative talents and unbreakable bond, Shea and Precious are not only forging their own paths to success but also lighting the way for others to follow

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