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Student success stories get supermodel shoot

Posted at 4:53 PM, Apr 18, 2016
Life wasn’t always so glamorous for Tabitha Pask.
 
“It could have ended very bad. I wasn’t realizing it, that was the problem,” she said.
 
As a teenager, she was lost. Growing up in a broken home, her mother died when Tabitha was 14.
 
“I was making very poor decisions, throughout middle school and high school. Abusing drugs and alcohol. Not making good grades. Skipping school,” the 20-year-old said.
 
But things turned around when Tabitha’s grandmother took her in and she found her way to the PACE Center for Girls in Pinellas County.
 
“PACE seems to be a place where everybody fits in. We have 53 girls at a time. Classes are small. There’s no judgment here,” Pace Center Development Director Carla Mattern said.
 
It’s the countless success stories at PACE that caught the attention of La Posh Salon owners Steven Anderson and Andrew Ashton.
 
Each year their Fairy Godfathers program takes young women who have overcome hardships and gives them a day to remember.
 
This year, Tabitha and four current PACE students took part in a photo shoot suited for a supermodel.
 
“It was fun. I never had two people do my hair at one time. There’s a first for everything,” Pask said.
 
“A lot of these girls have had chaotic backgrounds, and a lot of trauma in their life, so this is a way for us to help them to understand there are a lot of options out there for you,” Anderson said.
 
Tabitha is working in sales and planning to finish college. She’s also a mentor to PACE girls still struggling.
 
“Everyone goes through times, and nothing under the sun is new. And there’s always tomorrow. Just stay positive and there’s people out there who can help,” Pask said.
 
As for those pictures, they made these young women feel very special. And the images will serve as inspiration for years to come.
 
Along with the team from La Posh Salon in Safety Harbor, Fellowship Believes in Tarpon Springs, Johnny Grits, and photographer Brian Kasm made the Fairy Godfathers project possible.