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Jax Daily Record Wednesday, Jul. 10, 201312:00 PM EST

Nonprofit CEO Showcase: Mary Marx


President and CEO, PACE Center for Girls Inc


To provide girls and young women an opportunity for a better future through education, counseling, training and advocacy

Serving Jacksonville

PACE Center for Girls began operating in 1985 in Jacksonville. Since that time, PACE Center for Girls has grown to include 17 PACE Centers across the state. PACE operates a Jacksonville center in Arlington that serves 80 girls and young women, and Jacksonville is home to PACE's state office, which houses the administrative services for all 17 PACE Centers statewide. The home office is in Downtown Jacksonville.

Those served

Last year, PACE Center for Girls Jacksonville served 183 girls of middle- and high-school ages and their families. Across the state, PACE provided an opportunity for more than 2,100 girls and young women to find their voice, achieve their potential and celebrate a life defined by responsibility, dignity, serenity and grace.

Biggest challenge

Building PACE's capacity to provide more services to more girls statewide and nationally.

Biggest satisfaction

Changing the lives of girls every day. When I see the difference that PACE makes in the lives of so many girls across the state every day, it is extremely rewarding.


Ponte Vedra Beach, where I have lived for nine years.

First experience with community service 

As a 14-year-old volunteer at Phelps Memorial Hospital in Sleepy Hollow, N.Y.  My parents instilled in me at a young age the importance of giving back through community service, and community service has always been an integral part of my life.

Your job before PACE Center for Girls

I joined PACE in 2007. Before PACE, I oversaw two multiprogram, multisite organizations focused on at-risk youth in the San Francisco Bay area. However, I started my career as a research biologist and was assistant research faculty at the University of California, San Francisco for four years until I left to start a children's art museum focused on the role of the arts in education for underserved populations.  


For those that would like to learn more about PACE, PACE Jacksonville has tours of the center the first Tuesday and the last Thursday of every month. There also are plenty of volunteer opportunities and opportunities to become involved with PACE Jacksonville by visiting and clicking on "Centers" and drop down to PACE Jacksonville. Or you can contact Jake Nelson at [email protected] or call him at (904) 448-8002, ext. 367

Contact information

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