MACON, Ga. — As we approach the holiday season, we feel gratitude for what we have and recognize there are so many without, so we’re asking YOU to join us in our ‘Give Thanks’ campaign by helping the less fortunate in our community every Wednesday throughout November.
How it works: Every week, a 13WMAZ anchor will highlight one organization working to help those in need. Simply text the word THANKS to 478-752-1309 and get a direct link to donate to them.
Because we want to show our commitment to helping those Straight from the Heart, 13WMAZ will match the first 50 $5 donations every week.
Donations to each organization will run for a week before we move on to the next one.
Up next is the Pace Center for Girls. 13WMAZ’s Lori Johnson shares how this organization is making a difference in the lives of teenage girls.
There is a Bibb County program that focuses on helping teen girls who may be struggling at home or school or in trouble with the law. Thanks to this program girls ages 11 to 17 are getting guidance they need to be a success.
Candle-making is something a lot of teenage girls do, like their creators, the candles are a work in progress.
“I'm calm, I don't do a lot of fighting any more, I really like to just be calm,” Danajai Johnson, Westside High Senior said.
That is thanks to the counselors and connections at the Pace Center for Girls.
“A lot of the girls we're working with have a lot of family instability, mental health issues, history of trauma.” Becca Richard with Pace said.
Richard is the Reach Program Manager for Pace in Macon. She said girls are referred to Pace through the juvenile justice system or other agencies in the school.
“Things are happening in your brain, things are happening in your body, things are happening to your friends around you and that is so much for a teenage brain to handle,” Richard said.
Kamitra Stanley is a full-time Pace counselor serving girls at Westside High School and Soar Academy.
“There are some programs for boys, but not ones that focus directly on the girls,” she said. "If they need me to be their therapist, their counselor, their mentor, case manager, tutor whatever they need me to be to help them be successful, I'm that.”
The girls receive free individual counseling every week and participate in group sessions like one recently where they explored dynamics in relationships. Lessons like this help young women speak for themselves like Southwest High School junior, Yakira Brooks.
“More confidence and more confidence in ourselves as people,” she said.
Just like the candles they make, when they all come together, these girls can glow.