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Programs & Professional Development, Washington D.C.

Alicia C. Lane, DC Executive Director

Alicia “AC” Lane is currently the Executive Director of the Washington, DC Metro Region for Techbridge Girls. She is an engineer turned educator with 10+ years of experience in increasing access to STEM careers. As someone who was raised in a low-income community, AC is a testament to the cumulative effects of a STEM ecosystem on a girl’s educational and career trajectory. Through the Atlanta University Center Dual Degree Engineering Program, Alicia earned degrees in chemistry from Spelman College and in civil/environmental engineering from the University of Michigan. Prior to joining Techbridge, she worked with the US Army Corps of Engineers, served as a high school engineering teacher in Detroit and managed career and technical education programs within DC Public Schools. AC’s work in education has been featured on the front page of the Detroit Free Press, American Black Journal on PBS, WAMU’s Kojo Nnamdi Show, and

Airee Smith, Program Manager

Airee Smith is a native of Baton Rouge, Louisiana. She has 8 years of classroom experience as a Science teacher and over 10 years of after school programming experience as a dance instructor. Airee received her Bachelor of Science degree from Southern University in Baton Rouge in Biology. She then went on to receive her Master of Science degree from Loyola University New Orleans in Forensic Science. While completing her Masters, she began working as a substitute teacher. It was then she realized the joy she felt working with students and in education. After graduating, Airee joined a program called TeachNOLA and began teaching 9th and 12th grade science in New Orleans, LA. While in New Orleans, Airee grew the science department by implementing a strong engineering and technology focus within the classroom. Airee served as the Science Department Chair for two years. During this time, she also volunteered with a program called STEMNola and wrote the science curriculum for 9th and 12th grade teachers. Airee realized that she was ready to spread her wings and decided to move to Washington D.C.

This past year Airee continued her love for the sciences as a 7th and 8th grade science teacher. Teaching science has brought Airee so much joy, but she has always been truly invested in the more well-rounded programming that STEM offers. Her life’s work is also centered on exposing youth to vast opportunities and providing them with the tools to reach any and every goal. With that, Airee is excited to be a Program Manager of After School at Techbridge Girls; here, she combines her love of the sciences and her life’s work.

Chantal James, Program Coordinator

Chantal James is dedicated to arming young women with the tools they will need to enter spaces where they have been historically marginalized and excluded and radically transform them. She is Program Coordinator in the DC-Metro region, where she applies the spirit of inquiry from her training as a philosopher towards making sure girls are empowered to one day take their places as leaders in STEM.

Chantal comes to Techbridge Girls with a history of commitment to social justice in her work. As an audio journalist she has captured marginalized voices and connected them with an audience. As an editor she has prioritized projects like the first ever biography of black feminist writer Toni Cade Bambara. Her experience with youth prior to Techbridge Girls comes in the field of literacy, and she takes pride in the role she has played helping at-risk youth across the DC Metro area make critical connections in their reading development.

Chantal received her BA in Philosophy from Spelman College and her MA in History of Philosophy from American University. She was a Fulbright Grantee to Morocco in Creative Writing and publishes as a poet, fiction writer, and memoirist.

Jennifer Rivers, Program Manager

Jennifer Rivers is a professional development facilitator who has dedicated herself to helping students of all ages to discover their gifts and talents and explore how they can use them to make the world a better place. Jennifer is an advocate for lifelong learning, who is able to foster the confidence and courage in other educators and youth to pursue challenges and take on community changing projects that impact the lives of the people they interact with on a daily basis. Throughout her career, she has been committed to helping students and teachers alike to “find the fun” in learning and to see every challenge as opportunities for growth. Prior to joining Techbridge Girls, Jennifer was the Director of Student Support and Humanities Teacher at Blyth-Templeton Academy, a small private high school start up on Capitol Hill where she helped to develop the academic and co-curricular programs. Possessing ten years of experience, she has developed and lead workshops on student engagement, has advised students and student organizations, and has taught various subjects including English, history, and life skills at the middle school, high school, and college level all in effort to equip students for the world ahead of them.

Jennifer earned a B.A. in English from the University of North Carolina, Charlotte and a M.A. in English Language and Literature from the University of Maryland, College Park.