Mary Marx: Advocacy for Girls and Making a Difference

Mary Marx is a former molecular biologist and current CEO of Pace Center for Girls. This non-profit specializes in advocacy for girls through policies in the legal system, programs for enrichment, and practices to develop critical life skills. 

I was really interested in what I would call your more marginalized kids. Kids who didn’t necessarily have the opportunity that they should have and was interested in the issue of equity.

In the Mix

Charlee Guillaume, a multimedia designer with Mix Theory Studios, interviewed five CEOs in Jacksonville, Florida, who are making a difference in the community. Join us as we discover the non-profit organizations impacting the lives around us for the better. This interview is part of the Nonprofit CEO Segment of In the Mix. Video produced by Charlee Guillaume. 

Pace Center for Girls was founded in 1985 by Vicki Burke. The first Pace center started with a group of 10 girls in Jacksonville and now Pace has 23 operations throughout Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina serving more than 3,000 girls annually.

Since opening the non-profit has worked on both the state and federal levels to change policies that send girls into the “pipeline of the legal justice system.” 

It’s our responsibility to really wrap our arms around them and provide them a safe and healing space that’s both physically and emotionally safe. Once you do that, then it’s about them investing in themselves, and really realizing that they have the skills, they have the ability, they have the knowledge, they just need the support.

Pace’s Day program offers middle and high school academic services bundled with social services, career prep, and life skills tailored to each individual child’s needs. The Pace Reach Program is designed to be community based — to go outside of the Pace Day program and meet girls where they’re at: in their schools, in their homes and in their communities. Our goal is to ensure that things like transportation and finances don’t become a barrier to providing the behavioral health services that girls need.

There’s lots of ways for people to be involved…It’s really to me about exposure.

Pace is open to future donors and volunteers, and mentors looking to make an impact in the world. If you’re interested in joining or want to know more about Pace Center for Girls, visit