INTRO: In America there is an array of disquieting social trends. Rising numbers of children living in single parent and in working poor families, fueling drug and alchol abuse, truancy, and worse for America’s youth. Public spending on “At Risk Youth’ a growth industry, is estimated at Fifty Billion Dollars yearly. In Florida, The Pace Center For Girls, covers the needs of Florida’a at risk girls. WMNF’s Mark Antokas visited one center in Pasco County. Roll Tape:

SCRIPT: The Pace Center For Girls on New Port Richey is one of nineteen scattered across Florida. The Centers meet the needs of young women between the ages of twelve to eighteen. The first Pace Center opened nineteen years ago. They claim a success rate of ninety percent, offering small class sizes of just twelve students. They are refered to the center by their friends, the department of juvenile justice, and school guidance officers, as well as themselves. WMNF spoke to Linda, a counselor who has worked at the Pace Center in New Port Richey for Four years. Roll Tape:

Danika, sixteen, a student at the center spoke of a better life. Roll Tape:

Mellissa, 15, has been at Pace for just five months. She gave a small glimpse of her life in her former Gulf High School. Roll Tape:

Racheal, who has been in Pace for two years, explained how the program has improved her life. Roll Tape:

Danielle Fagan-Taylor, the Executive Director of the Pace Center for Girls in New Port Richey spoke about how the Centers get funded. Roll Tape:

SOCK OUT: The Pace Center for Girls estimates that just under nine thousand girls have been helped by improving their academic performance, no longer experience physical, emotional and sexual abuse, exhibiting runaway behavior and no longer using drugs and alcohol. You can visit their website at: WWW. for more information. In Pasco County, this is Mark Antokas for WMNF radio news.

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