Voices of change women and girls


A world where all girls and young women have Power, In a Just and Equitable Society.

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Women from 1920 and 2020


The suffrage movement in the United States, that changed the lives of women, celebrated its 100th anniversary this year. Trailblazers that have helped pave the way for girls and young women include Eleanor Roosevelt, Melba Roy and Shirley Chisholm.


At Pace, girls are provided opportunity to learn, grow, and lead, as they stand on the shoulders of these historical trailblazers. Our team members, volunteers, and donors support them on their journey to a bright future.


As part of the 100 years, 100 voices campaign the Pace Polk center incorporated an art contest for their girls, using the prompt, “what does empowerment mean to you?”

“There are two types of females – quiet ones and those that advocate on behalf of others. My picture symbolizes two women who are using their voices to stand up for what is right. I hope to inspire others to speak out.” — ZP

ZP is in the 10th grade and has been at Pace Polk for three months. At Pace she has learned to find her voice, advocate on behalf of her peers and ensure the best for everyone. ZP is a strong leader and we are excited to see what she will accomplish in her future.

canvas art depicting girl power


Pace provides girls and young women an opportunity for a better future through education, counseling, training, and advocacy.

Honor the Female Spirit We value and promote the female perspective by respecting its distinct needs, creating safe and gender-responsive environments, and celebrating the female experience.

Focus on Strengths We identify strengths in our girls, their families, our staff, and our supporters. Using these strengths as our foundation, we build strong, confident, and productive community participants.

Act with Integrity and Positive Intent We believe that all actions and decisions must be guided by the highest ethical principles, respecting the uniqueness of all involved and honoring each other's differences.

Embrace Growth and Change We believe that everyone is capable of remarkable growth, and only by encouraging change can individuals, organizations, and society reach their full potential.

Value the Wisdom of Time We understand that patience can be as powerful as immediate action, and each has its place. We value the discernment required for their effective use.

Exhibit Courage Courage is essential to making a difference. It enables us to speak for those who cannot, take risks to do what is right, deliver just and fair consequences, and be accountable for our actions.

Seek Excellence We strive for excellence in all we do by holding true to our mission, while consistently meeting high standards of performance, reflecting critically upon our accomplishments, seeking innovative solutions, and believing all things are possible.

Create Partnerships We believe in developing effective partnerships and long-term relationships by listening to our staff, our girls and their families, and our communities, incorporating each person's input and involving them in our decision-making process.

Invest in the Future We work to create an environment that fosters the long-term growth and development of our girls, staff, agency, and communities. We believe this is necessary to create results that have a lasting impact.


Mary Marx


Theresa Giles


Yessica Cancel


Teddy Thompson



Thirty-five years ago, Pace Center for Girls was founded in a church basement with 10 girls and the realization that there were no real options for girls involved with the juvenile justice system. Founded by Vicki Burke and guided by research calling for gender-responsive programming, Pace has grown to serve more than 40,000 girls and is recognized as a national model for reducing recidivism and improving school success, employment, and self-sufficiency by girls.

As we celebrate all of the accomplishments and achievements of the past 35 years, we honor those that worked, volunteered, and advocated for our girls. But most importantly, we celebrate every Pace girl that embraced growth and change to transform her life. Thank you for helping to find the great in every girl!

The Community Collaborative

Girls' experiences in communities across the country are affected by a number of factors related to their community conditions. The factors limiting girls' opportunities vary in each community but can include limited access to gender responsive, trauma-informed, strength-based services and policies, overall limited resources, and limited support for services altogether.

The Community Collaborative model convened by Pace aims to improve systems for girls through a data-driven collective approach that allows community stakeholders to identify and address specific issues affecting girls in order to improve their overall wellbeing. This can include programs and policy change that ensure girls are socially, emotionally, and physically healthy as well as educated and socio-economically stable

Pace has used this approach in Broward, Lee, Hillsborough and our first out of state location, Macon.

Pace in the news

In a year unlike any other, it became clear the work of Pace is a lifeline for our girls to get the love and support they need. Our community partnerships enhanced the care provided to our girls and prioritized their overall health and safety. Additionally, as a thought leader in the areas of juvenile justice, mental health, education and human trafficking, our expertise allowed us to share best practices and influence systems. By highlighting our thought leadership and community partnerships in the media, Pace continues to move the needle and make an impact in our girls' lives and all girls' lives.

girl holding chart for 100 days 100 steps goal

100 Days to Celebrate 100 Years

Pace Treasure Coast is on the move! As a part of the Pace wide celebration honoring the 100 Year Anniversary of the Women's Suffrage Movement, our girls, staff, volunteers, and board members are all walking towards a collaborative goal of reaching 10 Million Steps by January 9th! After learning about the Women's Suffrage Movement, our Girls Leadership Council came up with a steps challenge that would allow both the brick and mortar and the ILE girls to participate.

Teachers are doing 5 minute “Pace Dance Breaks” during class periods and Counselors have been having mindfulness walks during sessions, to help achieve more steps. In the words of Pace girl Dykeriya, “this is about honoring all of the women who fought for the rights that we have today. Every step we take will be like us sending a big “Thank You” to all of these iconic women who paved the way.” Pedometers were given to students to help with tracking their steps and they will be added to a large thermometer at the end of every month. The girls are determined to reach their goal one step at a time!


Partnerships are vital to the work we do for our girls

Pace at the Capitol

Pace Day at the Capitol

Pace Day at the Capitol was held on January 29th, 2020 in Tallahassee, Fla. More than 200 Pace girls, team members, and board members from across the state heard from state leaders including First Lady Casey DeSantis, Lieutenant Governor Jeanette Nuñez, Attorney General Ashley Moody, Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) Secretary Simone Marstiller and Pace Founder Vicki Burke. Throughout the day, the girls met with more than 100 members of the Florida House and Florida Senate to share the impact of Pace on their lives and advocate for improvements on key issues impacting girls across Florida. The girls also toured Florida A&M University to learn about post-secondary opportunities.

COVID-19 Impact Report

In response to the Covid-19 global health crisis, 21 Pace centers across the state were able to transition nearly

2,000 girls to 100% innovative learning
1,700+ laptops Deployed. 96% attended academic classes weekly. 80% received weekly counseling, case management and therapy.
251 families received deliveries of food, water, cleaning and hygiene supplies. More than 900 donors stepped up to help our girls during this historic challenge - Thank you!

Pace Center for Girls

Pace provides year-round middle school and high school academics, case management, counseling, and life skills development in a gender-responsive environment.

3,000+ girls served each year. 40,000+ girls served since 1985. 22 locations.
before and after Pace Center infographic

Reach program services

Counseling, therapy, and case management program for girls who may not be able to attend a Pace Center, but who will benefit from high-quality therapeutic services within their school and communities.

13 locations. 980 girls served
Before and after Reach infographic

Our Stories

Click on the images below to hear the stories of our girls

Polk Mural

Pace Polk completed a mural project with Gillian Fazio Art. The mural specifically designed for Pace Center for Girls embodies female empowerment, using the profile of a young woman with a lush garden in place of flowing hair. The bounty of flowers radiating from her mind, along with butterflies and hummingbirds, symbolize growth of knowledge as well as beautiful thoughts and ideas she has for the world. Part of the beauty is she represents all Pace girls.


This year, Pace volunteers donated more than 25,000 hours of service averaging 338 volunteers per month. Our volunteers generously give of their gifts and abilities to strengthen the mission of the organization. Volunteers are a vital extension of our Pace team, offering service in a variety of roles, like clerical work, helping with special events and directly mentoring our girls.

Volunteers allow teachers and team members to serve more girls successfully all year long. Volunteers like Ms. Werner, who after touring the Pace Jacksonville center in 2002, developed such a strong connection with our mission that she was determined to do more. She took notice to the center's clothes closet and what was available for the girls. Believing the girls deserved better, she began reaching out to her family and friends for donations. Today, more than 20 years of volunteer service has resulted in an amazing boutique where girls and their families look forward to clothes shopping.


July 1, 2019 – June 30, 2020

Total accumulated
volunteer hours:

Total value of one
volunteer hour*:

Total Value

*Florida Dollar Value for one Volunteer Hour: $24.93 SOURCE: Independentsector.org

“I have continued my commitment to volunteering with Pace because I can see the positive impact Pace is having on the girls. When I am at the Center, I can see that staff truly care about the girls and that it's more than just a job to them; it's their passion.”
— Ms. Werner

2020 Financials

Financial stats

Pace Communities

Map of Pace communities

Community Locations & Contacts

National Office

Mary Marx,
President & CEO

Pace Center for Girls, Inc.
6745 Philips Industrial Blvd.
Jacksonville, FL 32256


Natalya Bannister,
Executive Director

Pace Center for Girls, Alachua
1010 SE 4th Ave.
Gainesville, FL 32601


Sara Nuñez,
Executive Director

Pace Center for Girls, Broward
2225 N. Andrews Ave.
Wilton Manors, FL 33311


Carole Savage,
Executive Director

Pace Center for Girls, Citrus
3630 W. Educational Path
Lecanto, FL 34461


Destani Shadrick,
Executive Director

Pace Center for Girls, Clay
1241 Blanding Blvd., Suite 5
Orange Park, FL 32065

COLLIER at Immokalee

Marianne Kearns,
Executive Director

Pace Center for Girls, Collier at Immokalee
160 N. 1st St.
Immokalee, FL 34142


Laurie Rodgers,
Executive Director

Pace Center for Girls,
Escambia-Santa Rosa
1028 Underwood Ave.
Pensacola, FL 32504


Gail Armstrong,
Executive Director

Pace Center for Girls, Hernando
3139 Dumont Ave.
Spring Hill, FL 34609


Davia Lerebours,
Executive Director

Pace Center for Girls, Hillsborough
1933 E. Hillsborough Ave., Suite 300
Tampa, FL 33610


Kimberly Reed,
Executive Director

Pace Center for Girls, Jacksonville
2933 University Blvd. N.
Jacksonville, FL 32211


Meg Geltner,
Executive Director

Pace Center for Girls, Lee
3800 Evans Ave.
Ft. Myers, FL 33901


Laurie Rodgers,
Executive Director

Pace Center for Girls, Leon
311 E. Jennings St.
Tallahassee, FL 32301


Amy C. Wick Mavis,
Executive Director

Pace Center for Girls, Manatee
3508 26th St. W.
Bradenton, FL 34205


Carole Savage,
Executive Director

Pace Center for Girls, Marion
328 NE 1st Ave., Suite 500
Ocala, FL 34470


Sherry Thompson Giordano,
Executive Director

Pace Center for Girls, Miami
1400 NW 36th St., Suite 200
Miami, FL 33142


Rosene Johnson,
Executive Director

Pace Center for Girls, Orange
445 N. Wymore Road
Winter Park, FL 32789


April Brownlee,
Executive Director

Pace Center for Girls, Palm Beach
1640 S. Congress Ave.
Palm Springs, FL 33461


Gail Armstrong,
Executive Director

Pace Center for Girls, Pasco
7545 Little Road
New Port Richey, FL 34654


Chantell Miles,
Executive Director

Pace Center for Girls, Pinellas
4000 Gateway Center Blvd. N.,
Suite 400
Pinellas Park, FL 33782


Ellen Katzman,
Executive Director

Pace Center for Girls, Polk
213 Tyler Ave.
Lakeland, FL 33801


Maygan Johnson,
Executive Director

Pace Center for Girls,
Treasure Coast
3651 Virginia Ave.
Ft. Pierce, FL 34981


Sheila Jordan,
Executive Director

Pace Center for Girls,
208 Central Ave.
Ormond Beach, FL 32174


Laurie Rogers,
Executive Director

Billie Rawot

Board of trustees

Billie Rawot

Sr. VP and Controller,
Eaton Corporation (ref)

Jane Wexton

Vice Chair
Chief Blobal Compliance Officer, GE (ref)

Gordon Bailey

Secretary, Public Policy Chair
Vice President, Government Affairs and
Community Engagement, Florida Blue

Mark Barnes

CPA, DiBartolomeo, McBee, Hartley & Barnes

Mark Snead

Immediate Past Chair
Global Managing Partner, Accenture (ref)

Keith Bell

Tampa/Southwest Division Community Development
Manager–SunTrust Bank

Mark Bennett

Southeast Region Executive for Business
Bank of America

Denise Cobb

Founding Trustee, Naples Children &
Education Foundation

Susan Davis

Senior Vice President–Gulf Coast–Sacred Heart Health System,
Providence Hospital (ret)

Crystal Freed

Managing Partner & Community Advocate
The Freed Firm, P.A.

Louis Freeman

Senior Vice President, BB&T Community Development

Karen Gallagher

Vice President, Human Resources and Learning,
Brooks Health System

Nadine Gramling

Principal, Gramling Enterprises, Inc.

Greg Haile

President, Broward College

Brittany Perkins Castillo

Chief Executive Officer,
AshBritt Environmental

Kerrie Slattery

Chief Advancement Officer,
Cummer Museum

Irene Sullivan

Juvenile and Family Court Judge,
Florida's 6th Judicial Circuit (ret)

Debbie Toler

Southwest Florida Children's Charities

Sandy Stilwell Youngquist

CEO/Owner, Stilwell Enterprises & Restaurant Group


Our donors and supporters answered the call during this past year andhelped provide more than 3,000 Pace girls with critically neededresources and support.