Monica Benoit-Beatty is the Director of Philanthropy for an organization called Songwriters With Soldiers. In 2006, She wanted to make a difference in her world by stepping away from financial services sector to mentor, coach and connect to women. She was able to blend her passion for non-profit work by working a short, impacting time as the Chief Operating Officer for Girl Scouts of Central Texas. This is only a few things she has done to make a difference in our community to empower people.
Songwriters With Soldiers help military service members tell their stories and transform their lives through collaborative songwriting. The military members come together at a retreat where they tell their stories and talk about their experiences. While they share their hurt and wounds their song unfolds. A professional songwriter captures it and writes their song. The songs are certified through ASCAP which allows the soldier to receive royalties when or if the song is used. The biggest benefit of the retreat is the mental release, talking through their story which for some might be the first time. It is a therapy session. Very cathartic for soldiers and when they hear the song it is magical. “We hope to one day record an album of our original songs sung by big name artist.” stated Benoit-Beatty.
In all the jobs and volunteer positions held by Benoit-Beatty, the common theme for her that gets her involved is ” I feel like I can make a difference by contributing and not marching time, helping organizations is the best.” stated Benoit-Beatty. I like knowing challenges, being able to help and be creative in the non-profit world and making a difference to that organization. Benoit-Beatty was born and raised as Texan which gives her a sense of Texas pride. “I have a T chromosome.” she laughed. She is a very driven women and believes you can do things. She empowers people by improving their self-esteem, letting them know it is alright to ask for help to make their lives better. Benoit-Beatty gives encouragement and empowers people to move ahead.
In the community, she is known as a very resourceful, highly connected go to, can do, and get done kind of person. “My dad taught me to give. Neither of my parents graduated from high school but my mom got her GED. They wanted more for me than what they had. I got my gentle activism from my dad” stated Benoit-Beatty.
Benoit-Beatty stated she remembered attending a volunteer luncheon and Willie Kocurek and Ron Oliveira were the honorees. They spoke about their accomplishments and at that moment I realized I wanted to be known for things in the community. Willie Kocurek was inspiring for her because he had done so much. Receiving the 2014 Women of the Year Award is now full circle and incredibly humbling.
She thanks Anita Knight AAUW who nominated her and knows about empowering and educating women across the country. “I am honored.”
For more information about Songwriting with Soldiers visit http://www.songwritingwithsoldiers.org/about-us/.
Ujima congratulates Monica Benoit-Beatty on her award.