Program Director and Alumna’s Work with Pace Leon Comes Full Circle

February 02, 2023
Kristel Avilus (1)

Pace Center for Girls proudly announces the appointment of Kristel Avilus as Associate Executive Director of Pace Leon. 

With two decades of experience, Avilus has held various roles at Pace Leon — as Intake/Transition Counselor, Spirited Girls Teacher, Social Services Manager and Program Director. She has a unique understanding of the significant and positive impact that Pace has on girls’ lives, as she herself was a Pace girl in 2001.  

“When girls and young women have access to trusted support, they have the opportunity to reach their highest potential, leading to positive outcomes for themselves, their families and communities,” said Avilus. “Pace played a role in changing my life trajectory. It’s an honor to now lead Pace Leon and empower our next generation of girls and young women.” 

In 2021, Avilus received the Florida Juvenile Justice Association Service Excellence Award, a distinction that recognizes her commitment to creating meaningful change for Florida’s youth. She encourages, supports, and empowers young women throughout Leon County through her involvement in several youth outreach programs including Tallahassee’s Domestic Violence Coordinating Council, Peace of the Big Bend, and At-Risk Assistance Programs. 

“Kristel has made a tremendous impact at Pace Leon, supporting and advocating for thousands of girls throughout the community,” said Mary Marx, President and CEO of Pace Center for Girls. “Kristel is the first Pace alumna to lead a center as an executive leader and we are excited for the Leon community and our girls to share in this historical moment.” 

Avilus holds a Bachelor of Social Work from Thomas University and a Master of Social Work from Florida State University. She is recognized as the 2021 NASW Social Worker of the Year, recipient of the Oasis Center Shero Award, and one of the “Top 25 Women to Know in Tallahassee.”  

For more information about Pace Leon or if you know a girl who could benefit from Pace, please visit Leon | Pace Center for Girls. To purchase a ticket for the Believing in Girls Celebration, visit here