LAKELAND, Fla. — They are taking fundraising to new heights in Polk County.
Residents pacing themselves, as they rappel 10 stories down the Lakeland Electric building, including Lakeland Mayor Bill Mutz.
These thrill-seekers are helping Pace Center for Girls, Polk reach their goal of raising $85,000. Pace is a year-round school for at-risk girls.
“My wife and I are long supporters of [Pace] and will continue to be, just because we’ve seen the difference in some of the lives that we’re so grateful for,” Mutz said.
Tyra P., 18, is one of them. She has made a dramatic improvement since coming to Pace.
“Back when I was in regular public school, I would be skipping class. Not worried about my grades, always doing something. Pace, when I came here they changed me a lot,” she said.
Many of the girls at Pace are dealing with past trauma, some are even victims of human trafficking. Students at Pace learn academics, life skills and work closely with counselors.
“It’s OK, not to be OK," Tyra said. "That's what I've learned. It's OK to have those bad days. It’s OK to come in and not always be in the mood, but you can't be there for too long."
The Ten Story Challenge also working as a life lesson.
“We want the girls to see you can conquer your fears. They are conquerable. You can get over those things and become productive and put them behind you,” Dr. Mark Creech, Program Director of Pace Center for Girls, Polk said.