Mentoring Young Women

Women Who Succeed Vice President, Erin Trenbeath-Murry Builds Community Among Young Women Professionals

There is a symbiotic relationship between our education and the career we pursue. Building educational and career opportunities was a fundamental driver for Erin Trenbeath-Murray’s professional journey. It was only a matter of time before she co-founded with Kathi Garff, the Women Who Succeed program ( to benefit more than 800 young Utah females since the organization’s founding in March 2021.

According to Trenbeath-Murray, leaning-in matters. "The motivating factor to begin this program was my desire to create a shorter learning curve for young women. Many throughout Utah lack confidence, opportunity, or both. They only need exposure to skills and the ability to network faster, finish their education, build the courage to speak up, and be confident to participate in all professional settings."

Leading By Example

Trenbeath-Murray is the former CEO of Utah Community Action / Head Start, a Utah nonprofit that empowers individuals, strengthens families, and builds communities through self-reliance and education programs. While advocating for the underserved, Trenbeath-Murray grew the nonprofit’s staff from three to 600 and the budget and property portfolio from $8 million to $34 million. 

Her passion to give Utah's middle school and college-age girls the same career chances as their male counterparts grew. Following Utah Community Action, she served as vice president of Success in Education (, a nonprofit established 20 years ago by Bob and Katharine Garff.

"I wanted young Utah women to have all of the advantages my own two sons received and to provide strong female role models to show them the way," explained Trenbeath-Murray. "We were hoping for 20 to 25 dynamic women who could provide scholarships, mentoring, internships, and networking opportunities. Little did we know we would have approximately 165 members a year!" 

Women Who Succeed is a free, comprehensive program that provides young women with mentorship, leadership opportunities, internships, and access to Women Who Succeed events. The Women Who Succeed program supported 289 young women during 2023. Of these, 35 percent are young women of color, 39 percent are first-generation, and 35 percent are from rural Utah communities. "We plan to provide $90,000 more in scholarships by year's end, on top of $129,000 already awarded earlier this year," notes Trenbeath-Murray.

Women Who Succeed is a program of the nonprofit Success in Education Foundation. The mission of Success in Education is to provide a pathway to college or careers. We do this through literacy, technology and mentoring programs, and exposure to scholarships, internships, and careers. 

The purpose of Women Who Succeed is to provide opportunities for girls and young women to grow confidence and leadership skills.  

Gaining Access Pays Dividends

For U of U junior Kenley Thiel, who hails from Hooper, Women Who Succeed was a game changer. Thiel wanted to believe a financial career was possible as math was a more accessible subject for her.

Quiet and reserved by nature, Thiel was introduced to Women Who Succeed. She applied, accepted, and found a world she never imagined.

"I found out about the Women Who Succeed program through a friend and met Erin Trenbeath-Murray, who has been an incredible advocate," explained Thiel. "I was not sure what major to choose or if joining a sorority would be beneficial. I've since done both with confidence."

Access to mentors Jacki Zehner, a financial feminist, philanthropist, public speaker, and former Goldman Sachs executive, as well as Crystal Maggelet, CEO of FJ Management (and subsidiary Maverik), unequivocally changed how Thiel perceives her future and professional career path.

Zehner provided Thiel with resources, finance advice, and networking assistance, while her connection to Maggelet translated into employment at Maverik while finishing college. 

Program involvement for Utah’s professional community varies and includes several membership categories, including scholarship selection committee, mentor, podcast guest, keynote speaker, internship, and participation in the nonprofit's "Girls Give Back!" service event. Mentors are hand-matched with mentees seeking similar interests or career fields. Networking and training events occur regularly to promote successful connections for young women.

The current Women Who Succeed program will launch with a kickoff event in May 2024 and run from August 2024 through May 2025.

Join Women Who Succeed as a Member/Mentor

As a member/mentor, you will be able to inspire young women in Utah's communities by giving your time, resources, and talent to assist these women in growing their professional confidence and leadership skills. To learn more, click

Apply for a Mentorship

If you are a young middle school or college-age woman wanting to hone your educational track and professional skills, apply to be a Mentee or Junior Mentee

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