‘She Leads, She Learns’ Guides Girls into Professional Careers

BRIDGEVILLE, Pa. — BeNeca Griffin began her career as an intern at 16 years old, working her way to vice president of three television companies in Los Angeles – eventually becoming the CEO of Moments of Focus LLC.

She helps clients focus on the purpose and positioning of their corporate, small business, professional and personal brands through branding and leadership development services, books and keynote speeches.

Griffin will take part in Junior Achievement of Western Pennsylvania’s initial She Leads, She Learns program next year, helping high-school aged girls discover their passions, potential and power. She Leads will start with a virtual “Intern to VP” professional branding and leadership development training program through four Saturday sessions in February and March. Griffin’s Empower Her summit will be April 2 in Pittsburgh.

At the She Leads program, Griffin will help 50 candidates identify their goals and develop action plans, pre-qualify for their future opportunities, understand the truth behind the interview process, improve their communication skills and get on the executive track of their field. Submissions for the program were completed on Dec. 1.

BeNeca Griffin

“One thing for young girls is we develop their professional scripts,” she says. “We help people figure out what they should be saying, what their brand represents and how they say it. 

“It’s on-the-spot consulting services at the same time.”

There is no cost for those attending this session. Local corporations have invested in the program, with more possibly joining the effort, says Patrice Matamoros, president of Junior Achievement of Western Pennsylvania. 

The Empower Her summit location has yet to be determined, but Matamoros is leaning toward having it at a nearby university. The cost of staging it is around $50,000, she says.

The more funding JA receives, the more classes and outreach it can offer, Matamoros says. Companies wanting to donate to the project can click HERE, call the office at 412 208 4747 or email Matamoros HERE.

“This is something that’s going to grow year after year,” Matamoros says. “Our first year growth is out of the ballpark at this point, but it shows us the need there is in the region.”

Griffin says the girls will get a 10-year head start on their careers, giving them the ability to network properly and understand themselves. 

The process begins in high school with internships – not waiting until the student is in college.

“By the time you get into college, if you don’t have an inkling of understanding of who you are, then you’re behind and start feeling stressed,” she says.

The program is about growing leaders, helping them to understand how they can lead and be comfortable in whatever field they choose, Griffin says. 

“We’re excited to help them at this stage so we can set them on fire and grow,” she says.

Matamoros is excited to launch the venture, which will gather many women executives and CEOs from all walks of life. Applications for the program closed Dec. 1.

“That community of leaders will help younger girls identify what they want to do or maybe see something they never knew even existed because of what the women bring to the table,” she says.

Matamoros was the former CEO of P3R, a Pittsburgh-based nonprofit organization that promoted community health and fitness through events, races and education programs – including the Pittsburgh Marathon. She grew that event by more than 360%. More than 80,000 runners participate in P3R events, while the nonprofit has an annual budget of $8 million.

Her goal is to expand the Junior Achievement of Western Pennsylvania effort in the same fashion.

“I’d like to grow it into a large-scale event that is an asset to our region,” Matamoros says.

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