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 projects and 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. Adam also serves on the Lebanon School Board in Lebanon, NH. 

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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 Director and Treasurer

Andrea McDermott is so excited to join the Board of Directors for BRAVE! Last year, she served as the AmeriCorps VISTA CTCC member with BRAVE creating health curriculum, supporting the intern team, and helping with various communication efforts. She currently works at Nutmeg Big Brothers Big Sisters. Andrea studied music and communications at Susquehanna University, and enjoys making music, reading, and being outside in her free time. She believes that if we all use our talents to help our communities, the world would be a better place.


Our Interns


Sarah Dottor

Americorp VISTA Member

Sarah Dottor is a Campus Compact for Southern New England AmeriCorps VISTA member serving with UConn in partnership with BRAVE and uses the pronouns she/her or they/them.  Sarah graduated from UConn in May 2017 with a B.S. in Pathobiology, but hopes to find a future in the social sciences.  Her free time is spent at martial arts, where she has earned a black belt in Tang Soo Do during 7 years of training.  She believes in the power of visibility and diversity, as well as advocacy for what one understands is right.


Mariel Amador

Org team Leader

Elementary Intern

Mariel is the Mentoring Team Leader and Elementary Intern for BRAVE Girls Leadership Inc. As part of BRAVE for three years now, they continue to return due to the welcoming and loving sense of family BRAVE has given them. Mariel hopes to provide all students and incoming members an equal amount of love and support so that they may too find a home within BRAVE. Mariel seeks to make the world a better place each day by speaking up for others and encouraging  respect for all humans. They are currently studying Human Development and Family Studies at the University of Connecticut and hope to one day become a child advocate.


Emma Whitmore

Mentoring Team Leader

Elementary intern 

Emma is a senior at the University of Connecticut and studies Psychology and Human Development and Family Studies with a Studio Art minor. She loves to practice yoga, create art, and travel. Emma believes in the power of words and is obsessed with reading, learning, sharing, and listening. She loves working with kids and cannot wait to work with all of the amazing BRAVE students this semester to help them be self-empowered and BRAVE!


Nicole Ware

Event Planning Intern

Nicole is a senior Human Development and Family Studies major at the University of Connecticut. She hopes to use her degree to eventually become a social worker as well as a foster parent. Nicole is also involved in the University of Connecticut Marching Band as well as Tau Beta Sigma, a music service sorority. Nicole is very excited to work with BRAVE and to see what the future has in store!


michelle voong 

computer science intern 

Michelle is a senior at the University of Connecticut and is majoring in Computer Science and Engineering with a minor in Math. After graduation, she plans to pursue a career combining her computer science skills and desire to promote and protect human rights. In her free time she likes to read, ride her bike, and watch movies. She is excited to work with BRAVE!


Alexis trice

public relations and marketing intern

Alexis Trice is a junior at UConn majoring in communications with a minor in drama. She is a member of the all female a capella group, Rubyfruit, as well as the national honor coed fraternity, Phi Sigma Pi. Alexis loves to perform, and has plans to attend graduate school for theatre education. She recently just completed an internship as an  assistant teaching theatre at Hartford Stage for their youth program. In her free time, she loves to play the piano! Alexis is very excited this year to be working as an intern for BRAVE!

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shelby mehmet

king philip middle school intern

Shelby is a Junior Social Work major with a double minor in Psychology and Youth Services at the University of Saint Joseph. She loves working with young people and making sure their voices are heard. In addition to being an intern with BRAVE, Shelby is the President of the University of Saint Joseph chapter and is looking forward to working with the young women at KP! She is looking forward to getting to know everyone and what their passions are. She hopes to encourage each young person to follow their dreams and to continue to make a difference in any way they can. In her free time Shelby enjoys hiking, adventure education ropes course elements, reading, volunteering, quotes as well as listening to music.    


Molly Kozlowski

sedgwick middle school intern

Molly is a sophomore at the University of Connecticut currently pursuing her degree in Finance, with a minor in Women, Gender, and Sexualities Studies.  After spending her high school years at an all-girls boarding school she developed a passion for empowering women; whether that be through her athletics, in the classroom, or in everyday tasks. She is beyond ecstatic to have landed a mentoring position with BRAVE, knowing that she will continue to positively impact, and advocate for students.


Seyenah Lopez

elementary school programs intern

Seyenah is a sophomore at the University of Connecticut majoring in Psychology and Human Development Family Studies. Upon graduation, Seyenah plans on attending graduate school to obtain her PhD in Psychology. Her dream job is to become a clinical psychologist for adolescents so that she can make a difference in the lives of the future generation. Besides being an intern for BRAVE, Seyenah enjoys volunteering in her community, reading, and attending UCONN sporting games. She is looking forward to being a role model for the students of BRAVE and making a positive change in their lives.