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Nationally Renowned Expert Heading Up Delores Barr Weaver Policy Center

It’s an ambitious effort from one of the biggest change agents in town.. to change the system for girls.

The Delores Barr Weaver Policy Centeris up and running.Its focus is girls in the juvenile and foster care systems. And the Center will be run by a national standout in understanding the complex needs of girls.

Lawanda Ravoira is noted for her expertise in giving a voice and face to girls who are often victims of loss, abuse, violence and/or trauma. 

The former CEO of the PACE Center for Girls has been tapped to lead the DBW Policy Center, with the multi-faceted mission of improving the lives of girls in Northeast Florida through research, training and direct advocacy.

"Girls entering the system face a host of unique challenges," says Ravoira. "For example, they're much more likely than boys to be punished and arrested for something as simple as running away from home to escape physical or sexual abuse. We have to try to shift these paradigms."

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Melissa Ross joined WJCT in 2009 with 20 years of experience in broadcasting, including stints in Cincinnati, Chicago, Orlando and Jacksonville. During her career as a television and radio news anchor and reporter, Melissa has won four regional Emmys for news and feature reporting.