Welcome to Pace Pinellas
About Pace Pinellas
Founded in 1985, and started in Pinellas County in 1997, Pace began as a community response to the lack of female-specific programs for girls involved in the juvenile justice system, at risk of dropping out of school, or facing other serious risks. Since 1997 Pace Pinellas has served more than 1,500 girls by offering them and their families hope and opportunity for a brighter future.
Pace’s comprehensive and holistic approach to Educational Alternative Services includes academics, counseling, training, and advocacy services. Pace helps girls continue and complete their education, stay out of the criminal justice system and obtain the skills necessary to lead productive lives as leaders, mentors, role models, successful business professionals, and positive forces for change.
Since opening its doors in 1997, Pace Pinellas has offered positive opportunities for 1,500 girls who were failing in school, struggling with histories of abuse, combating unhealthy relationships, and facing a wide range of other serious risks by introducing hope, love, and change into their lives.
Pace Pinellas Fast Facts Sheet 2021 | DOWNLOAD
Anneyah started Pace Pinellas in the summer of 2019 as a truant, isolated teen who had over 166 classroom absences in just 69 days. She became so independent that she refused help from others and avoided meeting new people. After a year and a half of being at Pace Pinellas and fully emerged in an individualized academic plan, social services care, and hands-on community-focused experiences, Anneyah's trajectory has turned from unstable to promising.
Now as a 16-year-old senior, Anneyah is on track to graduate early in the spring of 2021. Anneyah shares that gaining the confidence from Pace to be involved in activities that she previously shied away from has helped her grow in ways she never thought possible. She has represented our center at Pace Day at the Capitol in Tallahassee, been the chair of our Girls Leadership Council at Pace Pinellas and a state-wide representative to the other centers, been selected as a top student to participate in Pace's annual All About Girls Summit, and led numerous center tours, board conversations, and meetings with area legislators. As a role model, encourager, and friend to everyone at Pace Pinellas, we're proud to see her accomplishing goals and looking towards her bright future ahead.
Meet Abby – a bright, beautiful, honor-roll student who graduated from Dixie Hollins High School in 2015. Her future is full of dreams and possibilities, but her journey to this point was not so easy.
At a young age, Abby was removed from her mother’s care and lived with her father and grandmother. She was 14 when her mother died from lung cancer and complications of substance abuse. Abby felt she had been neglected and abused by her mother and abandoned by her father because he was rarely around. Abby began using drugs, skipping school, was falling way behind and her grades were mostly F’s. The positive and stabilizing influence in Abby’s life was her loving grandmother but even she did not know what to do to help.
That is when they found Pace. Abby was 15, sad and alone when she started at Pace. Through the guidance from her counselor, and the patience and encouragement from teachers, Abby began to respect her life and work through the multitude of problems that were keeping her from being successful. In less than two years Abby had grown in many positive ways, exhibiting leadership through speaking to community groups advocating for girls and young women, leading tours at Pace, and representing Pace as a model in Beth Dillinger Foundation’s Value Me Fashion Show. Abby also became confident enough to mentor another Pace girl when that girl’s father committed suicide.
At Pace we believe in girls until they begin believing in themselves – We believe in second chances – We believe in looking forward, instead of backward. And we believe in Abby!
Risk factors are the underlying issues that lead girls to academic underachievement. These are issues such as: foster home placement, substance abuse (by girl or family member), domestic violence, incarceration of a family member, neglect, physical/emotional/sexual abuse, grief, emotional health concerns, low income, and more.