Candy Dawson from Altrusa International, invited me to sketch a fundraiser for Pace Center for Girls. Pace is a nationally recognized prevention program for adolescent at-risk girls. The program understands the impact that gender responsive prevention services have on decreasing juvenile crime and in helping adolescent girls turn their lives around. The program integrates social services, education and career development in an individual manner. Pace is recognized as the most effective program in the country for keeping adolescent girls out of the juvenile justice system.
The fundraiser featured the usual silent auction items. When it was time for the main show, a valiant effort was made to get the women to stop shopping and quiet down. The girls from Pace had been rehearsing for weeks on this show. They were each dressed as a woman from the past and they had lines about how they helped forge and shape history. Candy introduced “The Supremes” with a flourish. Rather than the singing group, girls came out in black robes. They were the first women who were elected to the Supreme Court. Abigail Adams came out in a gorgeous white lace dress. Amelia Earhart came out in a vintage leather flight jacket. She forgot her lines but was helped out before she crashed and burned. Chief Warrant Officer Mia Perdue of the US Army spoke humbly of her service overseas. Her ship was the first at the front lines when the U.S. became involved in Iraq.
I was told afterwards that the girls didn’t have much confidence going into the show but they all rose up to the challenge when it was show time. I thought they seemed like seasoned actors. It warmed my heart to think theater could offer such an important lesson in Confidence to these girls from Pace.