Pace Center for Girls and Delores Barr Weaver Policy Center Announce Partnership to Study the State of Today’s Girls and Young Women

Jacksonville, Fl., March 04, 2024 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Pace Center for Girls, a nationally recognized model that provides education, counseling, training and advocacy for girls and young women, and the Delores Barr Weaver Policy Center, a national leader in advancing the rights of girls through research and best practices, programming, advocacy, and public policy reform, announce a partnership to conduct a comprehensive review on the current state of girls and young women. This collaborative effort marks a significant step towards understanding and addressing the multifaceted challenges faced by adolescent girls in today's society. 

Pace Center for Girls' research department will collaborate with the Delores Barr Weaver Policy Center’s research team, operating out of Jacksonville, FL, to conduct an environment scan using secondary sources. The collaborative partnership will focus on developing a tracking system for indicators outlining teenage girls' developmental domains, including physical, emotional, sexual, spiritual, relational, and intellectual aspects. 

"What continues to distinguish Pace is our evidence-based approach. We make a deliberate effort to listen and learn from our girls and stakeholders, enabling us to effectively address trauma and ensure evidence of our social impact,” said Mary Marx, President and CEO of Pace Center for Girls. “By partnering with the Delores Barr Weaver Policy Center, we are taking a proactive step towards understanding the unique challenges faced by girls today and developing targeted solutions to address them." 

Inderjit “Vicky” Kaur Basra, DSW, President and CEO of the Delores Barr Weaver Policy Center, emphasized the importance of this collaborative partnership, saying, "Our collaboration with Pace Center for Girls represents a shared commitment to improving the lives of girls and young women. By leveraging our collective expertise and resources, we can better identify systemic issues and implement evidence-based interventions that make a meaningful difference in the lives of girls across Florida." 

The initial phase will focus on Duval County and serve as a template for expanding to the additional 20 communities in Florida where Pace Centers are located. This comprehensive study aims to align local needs with the services offered and uncover systematic issues that may be hindering the development and well-being of girls and young women. The collaborative partnership will inform Pace’s Girls Coordinating Councils, community collaboratives focused on reforming and strengthening the system of care for girls and increasing the availability of trauma-informed services for girls. 

Over the past few years, adolescent girls have faced exceptional challenges, including pervasive sadness, suicidal thoughts, and experiences of sexual violence. These stark findings reported by the CDC have jolted communities and the wider public, highlighting the urgent need for research and intervention to support girls' mental health and well-being. 

As leading national organizations dedicated to empowering and transforming the lives of women, both Pace Center for Girls and the Delores Barr Weaver Foundation reaffirm their commitment to providing comprehensive programs and services that meet the critical needs of girls and young women. For more information about the collaborative partnership between Pace Center for Girls and the Delores Barr Weaver Foundation, please contact Lymari Benitez, PhD, Pace Senior Director of Program Information and Impact. 


About Pace Center for Girls 
Founded in 1985, Pace provides free year-round middle and high school academics, case management, counseling, and life skills development in a safe and supportive environment that recognizes and deals with past trauma and builds upon girls’ individual strengths. Dedicated to meeting the social, emotional, and education needs of girls, Pace has a successful and proven program model that has changed the life trajectory of more than 40,000 girls and is recognized as one of the nation’s leading advocates for girls in need. For more information on Pace Center for Girls, visit  

About Delores Barr Weaver Policy Center 
The Delores Barr Weaver Policy Center is a bold leader in the juvenile justice reform movement for girls. The Policy Center uses an innovative combination of research, advocacy, direct services, and professional training to improve girls’ safety and fair treatment. Our holistic, girl-centered approach is designed to disrupt the root causes of justice system involvement, transform harmful policies and practices, and advance the rights of girls. We must all strive to see every girl for who they are and who they can become—not their present circumstances. Learn more at


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