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Nov
18

Florida Blue & Pace Center for Girls – A Partnership Impacting Girls and Communities Across Florida

If the past year and a half has taught us anything, we’ve learned everyone can play a role in creating a more just and equitable society. For more than 35 years, Pace Center for Girls has been working to advance its mission and transform the lives of girls and young women.

For more than 20 years, Florida Blue, the state’s Blue Cross Blue Shield plan, has supported Pace Center for Girls with meaningful funding, advocacy, and employee engagement. The Florida Blue Foundation values organizations and programs that show promise of lasting community benefit and measurable impact.

Florida Blue’s support of Pace ensures that girls and their families have access to equitable academic and health opportunities, without regard to socio-economic status. 

Sejan, a senior studying chemistry with a minor in leadership at the University of North Florida, experienced these opportunities firsthand.

“Little did I know, when starting with Pace, I was about to receive not only non-judgmental and quality care, but a program and an organization that truly cared and strived to ensure my wellbeing and future academic success.”

Florida Blue’s continued support of Pace has helped build the capabilities and capacity needed for programming and service delivery, strengthening communities across the state.

In addition, the investment in specific markets across Florida directly impacts mental health services for girls and their families, as well as the greater community. This support has allowed Pace to focus on strengthening Pace Reach Counseling Services, providing much needed counseling, case management and mental health services in partnership with schools and community organizations beyond the walls of Pace Centers.

“Our experience with the Reach program was just indescribable. The therapist assigned to us was nurturing, calm and had the amazing ability to help us see things in a way we would not have been able to recognize on our own. Our Reach therapist helped untie knots in our complex relationship and recognize the good in each other.” – Gilda, Parent

Florida Blue’s partnership goes beyond the organizational level and connects at the individual level. It’s Women’s Interactive Network (WIN), a powerful group of more than 100 women, connects directly with girls in communities where they have great need for mentoring, school supplies and basic needs items such as food, clothing, and hygiene products.

True organizational partnerships are about more than a donation. Over the years, several Florida Blue leaders have donated their time by serving on the Pace Center for Girls Board of Trustees to help Pace advance its mission.

Florida Blue’s commitment to health equity, mental health services, and improving the communities it serves are evident in its investments and commitments to the more than 3,000 girls and young women that Pace touches annually.

Sep
27

Elevating the Voice of the Girl

When working with girls and young women, it is important to understand the implications of Gender Pathways Theory.  This theory demonstrates that girls are often involved with the justice system for different reasons than boys, including the type of offenses, the reasons behind the behavior, and how the offenses are carried out.  The most common reasons women and young girls head down this path include victimization, mental health issues, and substance abuse.  In fact, sexual abuse is one of the primary predictors of justice system involvement for girls.  Therefore, prevention and early intervention strategies to steer women and young girls away from and out of the justice system must include holistic treatment designed specifically for girls who have experienced trauma, rather than punitive environments and practices that may likely cause additional trauma.

Gender-responsive models have key program elements aimed at enhancing protective factors. Protective factors are internal and external resources, such as positive adult relationships, problem-solving skills, and a sense of hope, that help minimize the impact of stress and adversity.  Understanding the existing gender differences during development, such as learning style and relational preferences, helps build an environment where girls can thrive.  

Creating emotional and physical safety is a core component of our model.  This sense of safety is woven throughout the design of the program space by spending time and energy developing authentic connections between girls and team members and providing girls choices to take ownership for themselves.  Effective gender-responsive models are collaborative, share power with girls, and give girls opportunities to use their voice and grow as leaders. A focus on understanding the intersection of multiple identities, such as race, gender, and sexual identity, and celebrating each girl’s sense of culture are also critical to the success of the program.

The outcome we hope to achieve is for girls to feel empowered, gain a sense of mastery, and focus on healing through goal planning that is steered by the girls themselves.  Girls bring with them a voice and successful gender-responsive programming provides elevation and amplification of those voices.

Mar
31
Mar
11

Pace’s Use of Technology on Display at Microsoft Ignite Conference

When working with children in need of extra attention and care, it is essential to have the necessary tools and equipment to prevent potential challenges. To ensure that all technology runs smoothly, Pace has turned to Microsoft products like Teams to provide consistency and ease of learning in both the classroom and at home.

…View Full Story “Pace’s Use of Technology on Display at Microsoft Ignite Conference”