MIAMI, FL — The Miami office of McDermott Will & Emery has launched a volunteer tutoring program at the PACE Center for Girls of Miami-Dade County.
The Miami tutoring program is part of a larger initiative by McDermott Will & Emery, which focuses on developing essential reading, grammar and math skills of school children. Each of the Firm's eight U.S. offices was asked to partner with a local school. The Miami office approached PACE Center for Girls of Miami-Dade County, whose interim director, Desmin Silvera, enthusiastically received the Firm’s volunteer effort.
The program involves bimonthly tutoring sessions after school held at the PACE Miami-Dade Center. McDermott lawyers, paralegals and staff actively participate in the program and provide refreshments at each tutoring session. The volunteers are paired to assist the same student (or group of students) on a rotating basis with other Firm volunteers. This arrangement was implemented to facilitate continuity with the students' academic needs. In addition, beyond tutoring, an important objective of the program is to develop mentoring relationships with the students. The most popular subject for tutoring assistance so far has been mathematics, although several students have practiced their reading skills with tutors and expressed interest in the legal profession. "We are very proud of our lawyers and staff who have actively participated in this wonderful program," said Ira J. Coleman, partner-in-charge of the Miami office.
The Miami-Dade County PACE Center, located at 1090 N.E. 79th Street, Miami, FL 33138 (305/751-1511), is one of 17 centers across the state. PACE is a prevention program for girls age 12 to 17 funded by the Department of Juvenile Justice. Candidates for the program are identified by school counselors and parents. Attendance is a voluntary decision by the student and her parents. Girls usually attend PACE for 12 months and then transition back into the public school environment to complete their high school diplomas. The PACE Miami-Dade program currently enrolls 45 students. Ten to 15 students attend each tutoring session.