Benicia Hernandez named to Inside Business listing of “Women in Business” of 2020
We are so proud of Life’s Journey founder, Benicia Hernandez, who has been named as one of Hampton Roads’ top Women in Business for 2020 by Inside Business magazine. These awards celebrate women who have been successful in their business and careers, have made an impact on the community and local economy and have served as mentors and examples to others. It’s no surprise that she was among the impressive list of honorees. You can read more about Benicia’s work and her advice for women in this special edition of Inside Business featured here.
At work: As the owner of Life’s Journey a full-service mental health agency, and Project: Life’s Journey, a nonprofit, I consider myself a lifelong learner. Although I am a licensed professional counselor by trade and love the field of mental health, I see my career evolving as I am learning a crash course in how to become a better business owner and community leader.
Volunteer activities: I find it most rewarding to help women who are looking to make changes in their lives and college students who are just entering the field. This year I also initiated my nonprofit, Project: Life’s Journey, whose work includes fundraising for those affected by the coronavirus pandemic.
Home and family: I have four children, ranging in age from 26 to 7. My oldest child, Shawnice Hernandez, 26, who has a master’s degree in social work, works side by side with me running my company. Elijah, 23, owns his own lawn company. Aliyah, 17, is a Maury High School senior, and Journey, 7, whom I named my company after, has been glued to my side throughout the pandemic. My sister, Isabel Hernandez, also is an integral part of Life’s Journey.
Motivating factor: My initial motivation for starting Life’s Journey four years ago was to provide a better financial future for my children. Today, my motivation includes finding ways to empower the Black community to achieve their own life’s excellence by addressing their mental health.
Advice for women in business: My advice for women in business and women in general is to release yourself from society’s expectations. When you can liberate your thought process from caring about individuals’ perceptions, you can live your life freely to make choices and decisions that will empower your own self-development.
How the coronavirus pandemic has affected my work: For one thing, it helped me to expand my mindset. Initially, my thoughts and emotions were anxiety- and fear-based. I emotionally regrouped and have created new programs to ensure that my company would not only survive the pandemic but thrive.
Professional goal in five years: My life’s goal is to always be a better individual. I know by taking on ownership of my continual self-development I will in turn be a better mother, business owner, and leader in the community.
What really gets under my skin: Injustice, racism and systemic racism continually frustrate me the most. However, I channel my frustrations to promote the development of my Black culture by educating on the importance of mental health in the Black community as the initial way to empower healing.