FORT MYERS — Pace Center for Girls, a nationally recognized model that provides education, counseling, training and advocacy for more than 3,000 girls and young women annually, received a $90,000 grant from State Farm Insurance to support career and college preparation at 21 Pace Centers for Girls across Florida.
The funding supports Pace’s comprehensive vocational and education program dedicated to providing at-promise girls with the necessary tools to obtain a high school diploma or GED, long term employability skills and support pursuing an education past high school, whether at a professional training program, the military, a community college or a four-year college or university.
“One of the greatest responsibilities we have as a society is to ensure all girls and young women have access to opportunities to be successful as adults,” said Mary Marx, President and CEO of Pace Center for Girls. “We are grateful to State Farm for investing in Pace and providing us the opportunity to enhance our life-skills training and career and college readiness pathways.”
As part of the investment, girls like Emily will represent 21 communities across the state of Florida and receive a State Farm Scholarship supporting college, vocational school, or certificate training. She will study psychology at Broward College this summer with plans to transition to Florida International University and become a therapist. Having lost someone close to her by suicide, she shared “maybe I can help people and change future outcomes so it’s not devastating to the person, the family, and people around them.”
Pace has seen transformational improvements among girls personally and professionally. Eight out of 10 girls graduate from high school, pursue higher education or secure employment after the program, and nine out of 10 have experienced overall academic improvement.
“We are proud to support Pace in their commitment to provide career and college opportunities to all girls,” said Jose Soto, State Farm Corporate Responsibility Analyst. “Our agents enjoy volunteering at Pace and accompanying girls on experimental trips that focus on job and school placement.”
For more information about Pace Center for Girls, visit www.pacecenter.org.