Pace In the News

May 10, 2022

Pace Center for Girls, Broward has partnered with emergency management and logistics firm AshBritt and Broward College to launch the new Emergency Management Program, which will become available beginning this fall. The workforce certificate program is designed to familiarize young adults across the county with the abundant career opportunities available in the well-paying emergency management industry. 


Students who enroll in the workforce certificate program will be introduced to the principles and practices of emergency management, disaster recovery, and safety regulations, as well as the career pathways, certification processes, and pay potential it offers. A major benefit for students completing the program will be a guaranteed job interview in the emergency management field. 


The program will be offered through Broward UP, Broward College’s expanded business model designed to improve access to post-secondary education for neighborhoods with disproportionately high unemployment rates, low education attainment, and low household income. 


The program is open to everyone; however, Pace Broward launched a pilot phase of the workforce certificate program in spring of 2022. This high school version has been available for 10th graders to recent high school graduates. The pilot phase is designed to expand awareness of the program that will soon be offered at Broward College and encourage more women to enter the historically male-dominated industry. As part of its role in building continued awareness, Pace Broward will encourage future graduates to consider enrolling in the Emergency Management Program, thereby providing a pathway for more women to enter the industry. 


“Girls in our community often suffer from a lack of vision regarding their career opportunities, and the Emergency Management Program will be a game-changing experience for many of them,” said Pace Broward Executive Director Sara Nunez. “Pace is excited about this partnership with AshBritt and Broward College to execute this innovative idea, which will undoubtedly have a profound positive impact on women and families across South Florida.” 


“As a national company headquartered in Broward, we are excited to be part of the workforce development engine of this community,” said AshBritt CEO Brittany Perkins Castillo. Emergency Management is an expansive career path with many benefits – financial, career growth, community impact; I look forward to introducing the industry to more people in our community, especially women.” 


“Broward College is always looking for new ways to connect residents to opportunities that improve their earning potential and economic mobility,” said Broward College President Gregory Adam Haile, J.D. “This Emergency Management Program is another way we are improving access to a growing field. The partnership with Pace Center for Girls will also ensure that we continue to build awareness about this type of training and the career and earning potential among young women.”  


The Emergency Management Program Advisory Committee will include the following leaders: 


  • Anne Cabrera, N.B.A., National Disaster & Resilience Director, SWCA Environmental Consultants
  • Dilia Camacho, Business & Client Relations Manager, AshBritt
  • Britany Perkins Castillo, CEO, AshBritt, (Board Chair)
  • Carlos J. Castillo, Chief Development Officer, Tidal Basin Group
  • Alexander Falcone, Director of Emergency Management, Special Events, & City Security,  City of Coral Springs, FL
  • Tracy L. Jackson, Director of Regional Emergency Services & Communications, Broward County, FL
  • Tashika President, Senior Director of Emergency Management, Broward College
  • Nicole Leham, Director of Client Services, Thompson Engineering
  • Sara Nuñez, Executive Director, Broward & Palm Beach Pace Centers for Girls
May 02, 2022

Pace Center for Girls is expanding its programming to provide social, emotional, behavioral, and mental health counseling to girls ages 11-17 in South Carolina. Over the course of a year, Pace will serve up to 80 girls in Florence and Darlington counties by providing individual, peer group and family counseling sessions, as well as individual goal setting and implementing strategies for future success.


This expansion is in response to the growing need for mental health resources for young girls in the region. The program will serve the population through its evidence-based model to help girls and young women build healthy coping skills, address past trauma and reduce involvement in high-risk behaviors.


April 30, 2022

They are taking fundraising to new heights in Polk County.

Residents pacing themselves, as they rappel 10 stories down the Lakeland Electric building, including Lakeland Mayor Bill Mutz.

These thrill-seekers are helping Pace Center for Girls, Polk reach their goal of raising $85,000.

“My wife and I are long supporters of [Pace] and will continue to be, just because we’ve seen the difference in some of the lives that we’re so grateful for,” Mutz said.

Tyra P., 18, is one of them. She has made a dramatic improvement since coming to Pace.

“Back when I was in regular public school, I would be skipping class. Not worried about my grades, always doing something. Pace, when I came here they changed me a lot,” she said.

“It’s OK, not to be OK," Tyra said. "That's what I've learned. It's OK to have those bad days. It’s OK to come in and not always be in the mood, but you can't be there for too long."

The Ten Story Challenge also working as a life lesson.

“We want the girls to see you can conquer your fears. They are conquerable. You can get over those things and become productive and put them behind you,” Dr. Mark Creech, Program Director of Pace Center for Girls, Polk said.

April 19, 2022

Pace Center for Girls in Hillsborough and Pinellas County recently received a $170,000 grant from the Schoen Foundation to help provide girls with important programs. One Pace girl said she doesn’t know where she’d be without Pace.  


Taylor attends Pace Center for Girls in Hillsborough County. Lately, she has taken up yoga at school, which she says has helped her learn to cope with the things life has thrown at her.   


She’s been attending Pace for the last eight months, and in that short period of time she said she’s completely turned her life around. Taylor knows she has the perseverance to push through anything, and achieve whatever she sets out to do.


“You can make the change, and the steps, and perseverance is such a main thing," she said. "I will say that to anybody, you just need to persevere through the things you need to go through, and have patience, because that’s all that matters — the patience, the perseverance, because things do get hard and you’re only going to have yourself at the end of the day.”

April 06, 2022

Founded in 1985, Pace Center for Girls has successfully grown to annually serve more than 3,000 girls in 22 locations in Florida and Georgia. Since inception, the program has helped over 40,000 girls transform their lives and is recognized as one of the nation’s leading advocates for girls in need.


Through the $60,000 donation from the DeVos Family Foundation, as part of its 30 Grants for 30 Years Initiative, even more girls and young women will have access to Pace’s resources to build their confidence and realize their full potential.


“I think it means that they are not forgotten,” Pace Center for Girls – Orange County Executive Director Rosene Johnson said. “I think a lot of times, our girls are the forgotten girls. They are the girls that are told, ‘they can’t,’ so much that they really believe it. They are the girls that don’t get to go on field trips, or the college tour, or are sitting in offices or different settings because they are too ‘ungovernable’ to be with everybody else.


It’s amazing to be able to see how these young girls can blossom during their time here. What’s most exciting about what happens here is we have over 3,000 girls, and now women, that have actually told everyone ‘they can’ – and that’s the strength of what happens here at Pace. For them to know the DeVos family and the Orlando Magic, an NBA team, care enough about them – that means everything, because it means they aren’t forgotten. It (shows) they are special, and that means the world to me and the rest of our team.”


A total of $3 million will be donated to 30 area nonprofit organizations as part of the DeVos family’s 30 Grants for 30 Years Initiative, which aims to invest in people and projects impacting youth, essential needs for families, and community enrichment across Central Florida.