Ben and Jerry, Lennon and McCartney, Watson and Crick. Collaborations have produced some of the most groundbreaking results throughout history. A partnership between Sanibel Sea School and PACE Center for Girls is changing the world through the lives of at-risk girls in local communities, one young woman at a time.
The PACE Center for Girls provides support for girls who come from difficult life situations by providing them with a safe, nurturing place where they can get back on track. Many of the young women at PACE are victims of physical or sexual abuse and many have dropped out of the public school system. PACE helps girls turn their lives around through quality, gender-responsive education, counseling, and career planning.
Since 2007, Sanibel Sea School and PACE have been joining forces to offer these girls a chance to interact with the ocean in ways that otherwise wouldn’t be possible. On a regular basis, we pick up the PACE girls in our bus and drive them to Sanibel for a day of fun and learning in the field. Students dissect squid, learn about algae, or trudge through the mangrove mud in search of Horseshoe Crabs. The girls learn about marine biology and gain an appreciation for Southwest Florida’s intricate ecosystems.
Our program with PACE fosters a sense of stewardship for the ocean among girls who rarely visit the coast, despite its close proximity. We instill confidence in these girls by providing them with an opportunity to participate in challenging activities like surfing, seining for fish, and snorkeling. After a successful day in the field at Sanibel Sea School, the PACE girls leave with a sense of accomplishment that helps them believe in themselves enough to make positive change in other aspects of their lives. We know that they will pass this confidence and love for the ocean on to future generations.
Thanks to generous contributions from our donors, we are able to provide programs to PACE free of charge, while furthering our mission of ocean conservation through education and giving girls a better start. At Sanibel Sea School, we look forward to growing our relationship with PACE for years to come.