Meet Our July Volunteer of the Month, Linda Benge!

Linda Benge is leaving GENaustin’s Board of Directors after over five years of service, and to celebrate Linda’s time on the board, we asked her to talk a little about her involvement with GENaustin.


Why GENaustin?  I have always been involved with women and girls issues.  When I moved from Houston to Austin I was introduced to GEN by Kim Soechting, one of the founding board members.  I became a donor through a family foundation.  When I began to have more time, I wanted to engage more with the organization and I became a member of the Board.  I am so happy that I did.

What I will always remember most about my time with the GENaustin board is the fabulous people with whom I served.  I have met so many new people with a passion for our mission who have inspired me in many ways.  In addition, the young women who work with GENaustin are an incredible group.  They are dedicated and competent and the reason why GENaustin is the go to place in Central Texas and throughout the state as a resource for girl issues.  I have also been fortunate as the Chair to work closely with Julia Cuba, the Executive Director.  She is remarkable and committed to GENaustin and our mission.  She is a great leader and I have learned a lot from her.

I think GEN offers a wonderful opportunity to become involved in supporting girls in our communities.  The reason this mission is so important to me is that I see my granddaughters and nieces struggling with the same issues that I experienced as an adolescent 50 years ago.  Although we see girls and women excelling in numerous areas with opportunities in athletics, education & career choices, we still see too many young women with eating disorders, teen pregnancies, low self esteem reflecting in school performance and delinquency rates.  We also watch as women work harder to prove to themselves & others that they are capable because of the self esteem issues which started in adolescence.  Our society continues to use sex to sell everything.  Inappropriate clothing targeted at young girls, marketing campaigns reinforcing gender stereotypes continue today.  I am leaving the GENaustin board but I am not leaving GENaustin.  The mission is as relevant today and as important as it ever has been.


Thank you to Linda for everything has done to make GENaustin the organization that it is today! GENaustin has been extremely privileged to have her support, and every girl served through GENaustin has benefited from Linda’s passion and dedication to girls issues.

Vanessa Wright