Our Board


Meaghan Davis

Founder and CEO

President, Board of Directors 

Meaghan Davis is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of BRAVE Girls Leadership Inc. She first established BRAVE in the Spring of 2013 while working as a social studies teacher at Conard High School in West Hartford, Connecticut. Her development of BRAVE was initially inspired by her work with students as a classroom teacher. She truly believes in the positive power of students and she is determined to help each student discover their best self and realize their own full potential. Meaghan’s initiative to found and expand BRAVE as a non-profit organization was triggered by the documentary film Girl Rising, which promotes awareness of the human right to education and the impact of empowering girls to create change in the world. She continues to be inspired everyday by the words, actions and stories of courageous people, especially girls, from around the world. Over the past three years Meaghan has worked to contribute to this special movement by improving and expanding BRAVE to different schools and communities. 




Areej Nitowski is Co-Advisor of the Sedgwick Middle School Program within BRAVE Girls Leadership Inc. Areej became more involved in the program in 2014. During this time, she has been amazed by the energy and positive influence BRAVE has given so many girls and young women. She has worked as a 7th grade science teacher at Sedgwick Middle School in West Hartford, CT since 2010. Prior to teaching, Areej spent 20 years as a life scientist in academia, biotech and pharma research. She received her BS in Biochemistry and MS in Toxicology at SUNY Environmental Science and Forestry in Syracuse, NY. Areej is a proud SU Orange basketball fan, even while living in Connecticut. She is a strong believer that public education is the main way to influence young people. Areej is thrilled to see the enthusiasm that BRAVE has inspired within so many girls and young women, and is eagerly anticipating more success with the organization.




Adam is an Instructional Designer at Dartmouth College.  At Dartmouth, Adam works with faculty on digital initiatives related to student learning.  He has experience working in educational technology, instructional design and curriculum support, computer support, web design, and social media.  Adam is a graduate from the Secondary Social Studies teaching program at the UConn Neag School of Education.

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Leslie Bruenn

Board of Directors

Leslie Bruenn is the Advisor of the Sedgwick Middle School Program within BRAVE Girls Leadership Inc. She helped establish the program at Sedgwick Middle School in West Hartford, CT, during the Spring of 2013. Over the past year she has built the program up along with the Founder Meaghan Davis.  She has worked as a science teacher at Sedgwick since 2001. She received her bachelor’s degree in Zoology at Arizona State University and her masters at St Joseph’s. Leslie has been an ally to all of her students, a strong advocate for girls and to the BRAVE Leadership Program from the beginning.  She continues to be inspired by the changes in the girls who have become leaders in their school and community, an opportunity they may never have had without this program.


Andrea McDermott

Board of Directors

Andrea McDermott is an AmeriCorps VISTA Connecticut Campus Compact member working to bring health education programming to the girls of BRAVE. In her free time, she likes to watch movies, practice yoga, and make music! Andrea believes that if we all use our talents to help our communities, the world would be a better place.

Our Interns


Mariel Amador

Elementary Programs coordinator

Mariel is a sophomore at the University of Saint Jospeh and is majoring in Child Studies. Although she has a few years to go before she graduates, Mariel hopes to find a career in which she can advocate for children, provide them a safe and nurturing environment, and of course empower them. Along with being an intern, Mariel is a member of her school's BRAVE chapter and this Fall she will be its vice president. She looks forward to all the great things BRAVE will accomplish this year and can't wait to meet with all the students she has mentored again.


Emma Whitmore

Duffy and Smith Intern 

Emma is a a junior at University of Connecticut and studies Psychology and Human Development and Family Studies with a studio art minor. After graduation she hopes to go to graduate school to become a licensed marriage and family therapist! In her free time she likes to hike, create art, read, and cook.She loves working with children and loves to help them grow to their fullest potential. She is excited to work with and inspire my students to help them be BRAVE! 


jamiah bennett

Communications Coordinator

Jamiah is freshman at UConn as an undecided major and an International Studies minor. Though she is undecided as to what major she wants to pursue, she knows she would like to work with an international nonprofit organization for girls. She loves participating in programs which allow her to empower other girls. She recently graduated from an all female school, started the Connecticut chapter of the Curvy Girls Scoliosis Support Group, and is involved with the UConn chapter of BRAVE. She is excited to continue to advocate for the empowerment of females as a BRAVE intern through various social media platforms and hopes to inspire girls to be comfortable fully expressing themselves.