Meet Our Team

The Girl Powered team is comprised of members from the Robotics Education & Competition Foundation and VEX Robotics. Together, we are committed to showing how exciting it can be to get involved with STEM, showcasing examples of how successful women are changing the world, providing tools which will enable girls to succeed, and enabling safe spaces where they can grow their confidence and abilities!

Veronica Andrulat

Project Manager
REC Foundation
About
I never participated in robotics when I was in school and I wish I did. The robotics community is like no other. The students that participate in the Girl Powered Initiative (and robotics) are truly inspiring and ensure me that our future is in the amazing hands of these smart, talented and passionate students.
Why are you Girl Powered?
Even if someone tells you that you can't do something because you're not powerful or smart enough... Ignore them and go do it!

Leslie Hughes

Grants Program Manager
REC Foundation
About
After a short, but fulfilling, career at the University of Florida creating genetically modified vegetables, I developed a taste for humanitarianism and I went to work writing technical proposals for public health agencies. While I chose to leave lab work to stay home to raise my own children before returning to my career, I've since experienced an increasingly rewarding vocation as a technical writer and I look forward to continuing my work helping nonprofits expand their impact for good.
Why are you Girl Powered?
I am Girl Powered because diversity is a powerful tool when creativity is needed for problem solving. I was one of only two females in my high school who pursued advanced science and math classes and went on to major in Molecular Biology and minor in Chemistry in undergraduate school. I believe that learning the scientific method at an early age solidifies one to become a critical thinker for life.

Vanessa Jiménez

Marketing Specialist
VEX Robotics
About
Hi Girls! I'm Vanessa :D I love writing and sharing stories. For me, Girl Powered is all about plugging into our power and charging ahead to energize ourselves and one another to spark positive change. We got this! When I'm not writing for Girl Powered, you'll find me seeking adventure or singing karaoke!
Why are you Girl Powered?
I'm girl powered because girls are powerful!

Kelly Kopa

Marketing Manager
VEX Robotics
About
As a new member of the robotics community, I have seen first-hand the profound impact of what STEM education brings to our community. I'm truly honored to be a part of an initiative that brings new opportunities to young women across the globe! Through our workshops, I've had the pleasure of seeing what Girl Powered brings to each of our attendees and the lasting positive impact it has had on them.
Why are you Girl Powered?
I am Girl Powered because I have seen first-hand the profound impact of what STEM education brings to our community.

Dan Mantz

CEO
REC Foundation
About
I've been involved in robotics most of my professional career, first as an engineer, then in product development, and now in education. And throughout my career, I almost exclusively worked with men. But it wasn't until my daughters joined a robotics team that I realized how many stereotypes existed regarding women in STEM. And I knew I wanted to help change this. So I first became a coach and ultimately joined the REC Foundation and Girl Powered Team.
Why are you Girl Powered?
I want to help provide all students the same opportunities my daughters have.

Holly Nguyen

Marketing Communications Coordinator
REC Foundation
About
I love the Girl Powered initiative because I believe if girls could come together and lift each other up, we can achieve much more than we think. Being a woman of color, I think this is a great, safe program for girls of all backgrounds to feel empowered and, in return, empower others.
Why are you Girl Powered?
I'm Girl Powered because I believe girls should have a fighting chance to reach high places in this industry without being rejected or judged based on gender.

Ruby Pontbriand

Marketing Manager
REC Foundation
About
I live in Central Massachusetts, but I am a Northern California native and a mom of two children (ages 2 and 4). I have three cats, and love to tap dance, sing, grow flowers, and be in the sunshine.
Why are you Girl Powered?
I'm Girl Powered because I am passionate about female empowerment, and I believe that all women and girls have the power to achieve their goals and dreams by supporting one another and fostering a collaborative and inclusive environment.

Lisa Schultz

Director of Regional Operations
REC Foundation
About
I've had careers as a mechanical engineer, high school teacher, robotics coach, and now I have the privilege to support the REC Foundation in expanding STEM opportunities for students. One of the hardest things to teach young women is how to trust their decisions in the absence of certainty, and the Girl Powered initiatives target these skills to grow and succeed. It's my hope that young women realize their full potential and the value of their contributions.
Why are you Girl Powered?
I am Girl Powered because I am passionate about empowering young women to expand their opportunities and build their confidence.
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All other product names/marks of others are the property of their respective owners.
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