Strong Girls Make Strong Women: JA Girl$ at PACE Center for Girls

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Elizabeth Paulson, JA Girl$ Program Director (2nd from left) and Jill Auld, Transition Services Manager at PACE (far right) with JA Girl$ volunteers Rikeeda Jordan, Alexis Chatman, Angela Spears and Jonda Lowe.

JA Girl$ is helping to enrich the lives of fifty-five high school girls at PACE Center for Girls. The PACE Executive Internship Class, which started Sept. 3 and runs through December, partnered with JA Girl$ to teach a series of JA lessons about career success and personal finance.

Volunteers teach JA Career Success for the fall semester at PACE Center for Girls.

Volunteers teach JA Career Success for the fall semester at PACE Center for Girls.

PACE provides high school education for girls ages 12 to 17 that includes counseling and education in a nurturing environment.

JA Girl$ learn job skills about conflict management. Christina Kelcourse, JA Girl$ volunteer led the lesson and conveyed “even when I don’t start the conflict, I am responsible for how I react to it.”

JA Girl$ volunteer Christina Kelcourse

JA Girl$ volunteer Christina Kelcourse

Girls learned conflict management when they performed a skit between an angry customer and store owner.

Girls learned conflict management when they performed a skit between an angry customer and store owner.

“Career preparation is very important…especially to these girls who may not have access to career advice,” said Christina, who is an Estate Planning Attorney. “They are learning skills that will give them a better chance to succeed in the workforce.”

Eleventh grade student Santasisa noted: “I see myself as a businessperson one day. I’m learning how to talk to people, prepare for job interviews…it gets me prepared for life.”

JA Girl$ volunteer Rikeeda Jordan, a PR and Image Consultant and former Banana Republic executive, comments, “The JA lessons are extremely important to the girls because it helps to build character and confidence. The skills they are learning are ‘life skills’ that will be beneficial to them in both a personal and professional capacity.”

JA Girl$ volunteer Rikeeda Jordan

JA Girl$ volunteer Rikeeda Jordan

JA Girl$ is all about the relationship between the women volunteers, who take on a role as mentors, and the young women they teach.

Rikeeda continues, “I hope the girls take away from my time with them that there are plenty of young professionals, like myself, who relate to them and care about their well-being. We…create an atmosphere of trust and make a meaningful impact on some of their lives.”

This Executive Internship Program will repeat in Spring 2014. Volunteers are welcome! Please contact Elizabeth Paulson, JA Girl$ Program Director at 904-398-9944 ext.225 or email Elizabeth@jajax.com if you are interested.

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