Skip to content

Staff – TechGirls 2021 Virtual Program

TechGirls 2021 Virtual Camp - Meet the Team!

Welcome to the 2021 Virtual TechGirls Program! Since 2012, TechGirls has trained and mentored 238 teenage girls (ages 15-17) from Algeria, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Palestinian Territories, Tunisia, Yemen, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan.

TechGirls program staff strive to create an environment where participants can feel a sense of trust and respect for one another.  This atmosphere originates from staff attitudes and actions.  Participants follow staff members’ example and gain new understandings of how dedication and commitment can build a strong community.  By choosing to work for Legacy International, each staff member agrees to uphold high standards of personal behavior and job performance.

TechGirls Year-Round Staff

Bernadette “Bernie” Lamontagne: Program Coordinator for the TechGirls Central Asia region. She joined the TechGirls team in 2019. She has experience in comparative international politics, as well international exchange programs, and has worked on State Department-funded initiatives including TechGirls, the International Visitors Leadership Program, and the Iraqi Young Leaders Program. Bernie has also travelled extensively for international education programs to the Palestinian Territories, Morocco, France, Germany, and the United Kingdom. She holds a Doctorate in Political Science, a Masters in International Studies, a Bachelors in French and took an introductory acrobat class at the New York School of Trapeze. Bernie has a soft spot for cats, and enjoys cheesy puns, learning languages, and meeting people.

Hayley Pottle: Program Coordinator for the TechGirls MENA region and the U.S. Youth Ambassador program. She has been a part of TechGirls since 2017.  She is experienced in program development for higher education, non-profit, and governmental organizations. Her love for the Arabic language ignited her work in Jordan as the Project Development Manager for Hopes for Women in Education. Past experience includes Education Consultant for the University of Richmond. She holds a Bachelor of Science Degree from Virginia Commonwealth University in Mass Communications & Business Studies.  When not zooming or commuting within her apartment from desk to kitchen, you can find her out for a run or sipping exorbitant amounts of coffee on her balcony.

TechGirls Summer Staff

Arianna Clark: Social Media Coordinator for TechGirls. She has been a part of the TechGirls team since 2021 as the International Exchange & Social Media intern. Arianna is an undergraduate student studying International Affairs and Political Science at The George Washington University, where she is aspiring to achieve her Bachelor of Arts degree. Arianna has a passion for enhancing women’s education in lower-income communities, having experience serving as the Director of Programming for George Washington University’s chapter of the non-profit organization, She’s the First. In her free time, Arianna loves learning new languages, currently French, and practicing her yoga stances. 

Sarah Miyahara: Logistics Coordinator for the 2021 TechGirls program. She has recently joined the TechGirls team this summer. She has experience in international exchange and program development for professionals, as well as college-age students, from all over the world. Her work ranges from instituting U.S. State Department-sponsored programs through her work at WorldChicago, to visa specialization during her time at IES Abroad. Her passion for gender equity and empowerment of all people and cultures through education has led her to pursue a Master’s degree from The George Washington University in International Development Studies, with a specialization in gender and education in North Africa and the Middle East. Sarah can’t wait to be able to travel again, but until then, she has spent a lot of her time dog-watching, taking long walks, and practicing her photography skills. 

Nana Bruce-Amanquah: Virtual Trainer for TechGirls. She has a Bachelors in International Studies and French from Johns Hopkins University and is finishing up a Masters in Human Rights and Humanitarian Action from Sciences Po Paris. She was born in Ghana but lived in Zimbabwe and Germany prior to moving to the U.S. with her family in 2013. Despite all her international adventures, Nana's more of a homebody that enjoys watching movies, dad jokes, listening to music, journaling, and the occasional long walk around her neighborhood. 

Ryan Cook: Virtual Trainer for TechGirls. She is currently a Masters student at the London School of Economics studying Anthropology and Development. She was drawn to her studies after living in the Philippines for a year and a half where she learned that sustainable development changes can only come from an understanding of the vast and beautiful cultural differences that exist around the world. She has also worked and done research in Ecuador and with various cultural groups and NGOs in the US. She believes every encounter with someone new is an opportunity to grow and (when not studying) is outside far more than inside. She relieves stress by dancing crazily in her kitchen and daydreaming about the day she can have as many dogs (or cats) as she wants.   

Brittany Corn: Virtual Trainer for TechGirls. Brittany recently returned stateside after teaching English in Spain for the last five years and obtaining a Master’s degree in International Education at the Universidad de Alcalá. Brittany also has experience working in both the legal field and in higher education with international students and scholars. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Justice Studies: Global Justice and Policy from James Madison University. After years of city living, she is currently enjoying spending time at her parents’ farm, where her closest neighbors are llamas.

Leonitha Francis: Virtual Trainer for TechGirls. She has experience in digital marketing, public relations, entrepreneurship and curriculum development for middle school and high school students. Her love for the teens in urban communities ignited her work in mentorship and birthed a nonprofit organization, Urban Mentor. She attended Morgan State University as a Public Relations and CUNY Medgar Evers College where she majored in Computer Science. In between translating technology into layman's terms for clients, she can be found absorbing factoids from various documentaries or singing off-key during her car concerts.

Rachel Gagnon: Virtual Trainer for TechGirls. She is an international program design and management professional at the beginning of her career in foreign policy. She is passionate about the use of social advocacy and youth empowerment to strengthen governance around the world. For two years, she served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Georgia, helping develop English teachers' professional skills and as programming director for GLOW Georgia NGO. Rachel holds her Masters in Global Affairs from the University of Notre Dame ('21) and her Bachelors in Political Science and International Relations from the University of Connecticut ('16). In 2020, she was selected as a US Presidential Management Fellow with the Department of State. In her free time, Rachel enjoys film photography, the Great British Bake Off, and cooking food from around the world.

Annalycia Liston-Beck: Virtual Trainer for TechGirls. This will be her first summer working with the program. During the academic year, Annalycia teaches 6th grade math in Nablus, Palestine. Before moving to Nablus, Annalycia also taught two years in southern Spain. Her passion for studying languages like Spanish and Arabic has led her to volunteer as a translator with the nonprofit RESPOND Translation. In 2018 she earned her Bachelor of Arts Degree from Ohio University in Political Science. Outside of trying to convince students that math is amazing, Annalycia enjoys cooking paella, playing board games, feeding the puppies outside of her apartment, and eating as many sweets as humanly possible. 

Kelly Richard: Virtual Trainer for TechGirls. Kelly has taught middle school English and theater for the past three years in Montgomery County. Before her role as a child entertainer, she spent ten months teaching English in Surabaya, Indonesia through the Fulbright Program. She is experienced in curriculum development, IB program implementation, and doing weird character voices. Her love for cultural exchange has inspired her to explore the intersection between education and culture in Indonesia, India, and England. She holds a Bachelor of Arts from Elon University in English Education. When not frantically grading papers, you can find her in the mountains, doing her best to get splendidly lost.

Jennifer Seibert: Virtual Trainer for TechGirls. After graduating from McKendree University, Jennifer taught for several years at an all-math learning center.  Assuming she'd eventually become a high school math teacher, a few students surprisingly set her in a different direction when they introduced her to Korean culture.  She spent a total of four years teaching English in public schools through government-sponsored programs in Korea (GEPIK) and Japan (JET Program).  Currently, she can be found tutoring English online to students from more than 50 countries. Aside from her love of travel, she is slightly obsessed with (attempting) healthy cooking. Guilty pleasures include foreign dramas, music, and chocolate.    

Laura Gahagan: Program Assistant for TechGirls. Laura is a rising sophomore at Virginia Tech. She is majoring in Industrial Design and is pursuing a minor in Materials in Society. This is her first summer working for TechGirls. She is experienced in leadership and design thinking as well as online learning amidst a pandemic. Laura has also traveled to Dubai where she enjoyed being immersed in the intersection of cultures there. Laura loves hanging out with friends, family, and can’t get enough of Chick-Fil-A, long walks, and photography. 

If you have any questions or needs, contact us via email: techgirls2021@legacyintl.org

TechGirls is a U.S. Department of State initiative and exchange program designed to inspire young women from the Middle East, North Africa, Central Asia and the U.S. to pursue higher education and careers in technology through hands-on skills development. It is administered by Legacy International in partnership with Virginia Tech, Center for Enhancement of Engineering Diversity (CEED).