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GIRLS KEEPING LEE PACE BELIEVING IN GIRLS PACE When does danger give way to safety? Who helps turn despair into hope and promise? Where can troubled young girls in our area go to transform the indignities of their yesterdays into the dreams of their tomorrows? In Lee County this isle of rebirth is The PACE Center for Girls in Fort Myers, a refuge for junior high to high school women age 12 to 18. PACE is more than a school, though the State of Florida fully accredits its classes, providing support, mentorship, and life values to enhance its charges today and in the future. PACE Girls are good kids caught in horrific situations who need a few positive people in their lives to make all the difference. Prior to enrollment 63% of the students received school suspensions, 62% are from low-income 28% possess a learning disability, and one-quarter abusive home. Sandy Stilwell, President of the PACE Board of Directors, practically knows these numbers by heart but cautions that “you can drown in the sea of these statistics but only two count in the end – when a young woman concludes her experience here 91% have no further contact with law enforcement or the criminal justice system 76 families, 44% have a jailed parent, have a prior arrest or reside in an Innovative Health Magazine


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