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Boys & Girls Clubs of Western Pennsylvania, The Lindsey Vonn Foundation and Queens Gambit to partner for Empower Her

February 26, 2024

Guided by the International Women’s Day Moment, on Saturday, March 2, Boys & Girls Clubs of Western Pennsylvania will host their 6th annual Empower Her event to celebrate reflection, advocacy, and action for young women ages 7 to 16. This year, BGCWPA has joined forces with The Lindsey Vonn Foundation and Queens Gambit to create a one of a kind day focused on female empowerment. Attendees will learn about mental health, how to create healthy relationships, how to build confidence, and how to become a strong leader.  

The day-long event will take place at the Estelle S. Campbell Clubhouse located on 4600 Butler Street in Lawrenceville. Over 100 young women are expected to attend Empower Her, which is free to all participants. Since 2019, Empower Her has been a transformative event with a mission to encourage and support young female leaders.

“We recognize the role that representation and inspiration has for children when they are deciding what is possible for their future,” said Christopher Watts, President & CEO of BGCWPA. “The partnership with The Lindsey Vonn Foundation and Queens Gambit accelerates our mission by creating a safe, fun, and inclusive day for all who will take part. I am proud to work with Lindsey Vonn, Ashley Lynn Priore, and the amazing female leaders at BGCWPA to showcase extraordinary, difference-making role models for young women and all children.” 

A highlight of the event will be a virtual appearance by Lindsey Vonn, four-time World Champion and Olympic Gold Medalist. She will address the Empower Heattendees to kickoff the day and share her thoughts to encourage young women to pursue their dreams and rise above any challenge that comes their way.

“In every challenge lies an opportunity to grow stronger and more resilient,” said Lindsey Vonn, Olympic Gold Medalist and founder of the Lindsey Vonn Foundation. “The path to achieving your dreams,” Vonn continues, “is paved with perseverance, dedication, and the courage to push beyond your limits.” Vonn emphasizes the foundation’s commitment to empowerment: “At the Lindsey Vonn Foundation, we believe in empowering young women to embrace these challenges with grit and grace. Our goal is not just to inspire but to equip the next generation of leaders with the tools they need to succeed and make a lasting impact. Together, with the Boys & Girls Clubs of Western Pennsylvania and Queens Gambit, we’re committed to nurturing a community where every young woman can flourish, driven by the conviction that her potential is limitless.”

Also for the first time, Queens Gambit will partner with Empower Her. Throughout its history, chess has predominantly been a male-centric pursuit, with just 14% of US Chess members identifying as female and only 15% of members of the World Chess Hall of Fame being female. Queens Gambit teaches chess skills to women, aiding in development of vital leadership abilities applicable in both educational settings and the professional world.

“Queens Gambit is thrilled to partner with the Boys & Girls Club of Western Pennsylvania to bring the Lindsey Vonn Foundation to Pittsburgh for a day celebrating and empowering young women across the region,” said Ashley Lynn Priore, Founder, President, and CEO of Queens Gambit. “Participants will gain valuable skills like building confidence, setting and achieving goals, and navigating life’s challenges with resilience, creativity, and strategic thinking. This event will be a game-changer for Pittsburgh, promising a day of transformation and lasting impact!  We deeply appreciate Lindsey’s leadership in championing the empowerment of women and girls.”

During the day, Empower Her participants will be assigned a mentor and rotate through activities to help them learn about mental and physical health and how to create healthy relationships. They will also learn how to build confidence, persevere with goal setting techniques, and how to put all those things together to become a strong leader and a positive impact on their community.  A curriculum workbook will be provided by The Lindsay Vonn Foundation, and from Queens Gambit, attendees will receive strategic chess training to gain valuable skills that extend beyond the chessboard and prepare girls for real-world challenges. 

Event participants can also experience small group learning through the Lindsey Vonn Strong Girls Camp Curriculum, and active movement with life size games and a “bounce house” from Everyone Loves Fun Entertainment. All participants will receive backpacks filled with swag including Under Armor gear, and a gift from the Pittsburgh Pirates. Lunch and Leona’s Ice Cream will be provided and Margaret Starkes, “the Rapping Principal” from Pittsburgh Public Schools, will be the closing speaker. 

For more information about Empower Her, visit:


For 135 years, the Boys & Girls Clubs of Western Pennsylvania has worked to advance the potential of youth and teens throughout the Pittsburgh region, now serving more than 5,000 youth and families across 17 locations. We are a safe place for kids to prepare for careers and life, with programs including preschool, before/afterschool, summer camp, teen mentoring, workforce development, STEAM, and sports. Our core values of safety, fun, and inclusion enable us to accelerate progress towards our priority outcomes for youth of Academic Success, Career & Life Readiness, Character & Leadership, and Healthy Lifestyles. 

The Lindsey Vonn Foundation’s message to young women everywhere is: “Grit is at the core of our identity. It is the determining factor that can set ambitious girls apart from everyone else. Intelligence and skill can only take us so far — if we put time in when no one else sees the value, that is when we can truly flourish as a strong leader. At the Lindsey Vonn Foundation, our central mission is to instill grit in young girls nationwide.” 

Through the LVF Strong Girls camps, the Lindsey Vonn Foundation brings its values to life through direct connection with the girls who need it most. These 2-day summer camps implement an LVF-designed curriculum, helping girls step out of their comfort zone, build confidence, and make new friends. Learn more about the Lindsey Vonn Foundation.

Queens Gambit elevates a new generation of strategic, inclusive, and civically-minded leaders through the power of chess. Founded on the belief that chess offers captivating and meaningful learning opportunities that transform the way in which youth can acquire knowledge, develop their thinking abilities, and engage with the world, Queens Gambit envisions an equitable community where thoughtful, intentional, and inclusive leaders solve society’s biggest challenges.

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