Board of Directors & Staff

Nancy Petitto is the Collective Impact Lincoln program manager for Civic Nebraska. A local partnership between Civic Nebraska, Nebraska Appleseed, and South of Downtown Community Development Organization, Collective Impact Lincoln supports neighborhood community conversations, leadership, and action opportunities to help create a more vibrant and inclusive place to live. Nancy received her Bachelor of Journalism and Master of Arts in Educational Administration with a Higher Education Administration focus from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

President, GIRLPowR Inc.

Founder, Executive Director,

Ex-Officio Member, GIRLPowR Inc.

Julie Reager is the Founder and Executive Director for GIRLPowR who leads the general oversight of daily operations, programming, and vision for the organization.  Julie is a Returned Peace Corps Volunteer, Nicaragua 2001-2003 and lived, worked and studied in Kenya and Egypt prior to her service. Julie earned her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and her Masters in Organizational Leadership from College of Saint Mary.

Vice President, GIRLPowR Inc.

Cheryl Horst is the Associate Director at NUtech Ventures, a non-profit affiliate of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln that focuses on commercialization of University Intellectual Property. Cheryl serves as IP counsel for the organization, manages the patent portfolio, leads the compliance, marketing, and business operations teams. Cheryl also co-founded a consulting firm, CNG IP, that provides business consulting for individual inventors and small companies. Cheryl is a registered patent attorney with the USPTO, earned a Bachelor of Science in Medical Microbiology and Immunology and a Master of Science in Bacteriology at University of Wisconsin - Madison and a J.D from University of Nebraska College of Law, with an emphasis on Intellectual Property. 

Treasurer, GIRLPowR Inc.

Sara Brooke Manning (more coming soon)

Secretary, GIRLPowR Inc.

Natalie McClure is the Project Director at redthread Creative, serving as a creative advertising project manager, leading the project management team and serving on redthread's leadership team. Her education and work experience has focused on supporting entrepreneurship and facilitating sustainable small business growth. Natalie received a Bachelor of Science and Business Administration with a major in Business Management from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. 

Board Member, GIRLPowR Inc.

Ryan Anderson Ryan Anderson is the Director of Industry Relations for the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL), a role focused on advancing the university’s research collaborations with companies. He previously held positions at the University of Nebraska Foundation focused on corporate and foundation philanthropy. Anderson is a member of the University Industry Demonstration Partnership’s communications committee, is a founder and the coordinator of Innovation Connect, serves on Nebraska’s Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Advisory Board, is the UNL lead for the NU system’s U.S. Economic Development Administrations University Center, is a director of the Sigma Nu Building Association of Nebraska, and coaches youth flag football. He earned a Bachelor’s of Arts in History from UNL.

Board Member, GIRLPowR Inc.

Megan Gibbs was a small business owner in the Lincoln-area, owning fitness facilities and managing training programs prior to her career in Financial Advising.  She also served as an adjunct professor teaching athletic and personal training certification courses.  Megan achieved her Bachelor or Science degree in Dietetics from th University of Central Arkansas. 

Club Teachers & Interns

Club Teacher

Lynett Wilson is the Club Teacher for Arnold Elementary after-school GIRLPowR program.  She most recently spent 5+ years as Children’s Literacy Outreach Coordinator with Indigo Bridge Books, where she developed and led several literacy outreach programs. Prior to that she was a Special Education Paraeducator for Lincoln Public Schools.  Before being a stay at home mom for her 4 boys she spent 20+ years working as an RN in various medical fields. Lynett received her RN degree from the University of NY-Albany.  Lynett’s passion for helping others has been life long.

Program Coordinator & Club Teacher

Lizette Alcantara Gonzalez coordinates and leads GIRLPowR's Nicaragua program and is the head teacher for the GIRLPowR girls empowerment groups in Kumaica Sur, Nicaragua.  Born and raised in Nicaragua, Lizette worked as a pre-school teacher at the local primary school and is an emerging community leader.  Lizette is a recent undergraduate of the Instituto Nacional Technologico (INATEC) in Boaco, Nicaragua with a degree in Public Accounting and Finance.  Lizette, herself, was a participant in the girls empowerment program that current Executive Director (prior Peace Corps volunteer), Julie Reager taught in Kumaica 2001-2003.  Lizette enjoys spending time with her friends, helping her mother at home, reading, traveling and exploring educational and professional development opportunities.

Girls Club Teacher Intern

Zahelle Yebe  “Zae” facilitates the after-school GIRLPowR club at Goodrich Middle-School in partnership with Community Learning Centers. Zae was born in Libreville, Gabon, though she grew up in Omaha. Zae is a first generation undergraduate student at the University of Nebraska Lincoln, majoring in International Studies, with minors in French, Political Science, Human Rights & Humanitarian Affairs, and National Security.  Zae volunteers with Lincoln Literacy as a Literacy Teacher and a College Possible Mentee. After college, Zae wants to serve the international community and join the Peace Corps.  One of Zae’s aspirations is to use her college degree and relevant experiences, like her internship at GIRLPowR to make a positive impact in other’s lives!

Girls Club Teacher Intern, Special Event & Social Media Volunteer 

Angela Luedke facilitates the GIRLPowR girls after school clubs at Arnold Elementary in Lincoln, NE. Angela, an Omaha native, graduated from the University of South Dakota with a degree in International Studies and French. After graduating, she taught English in France for a year, then returned to Omaha to serve as an AmeriCorps member with College Possible. During her two years of service, she worked with capable, low-income students to help them get to and through college with a four year degree, with the goal of closing the income degree gap. She then received a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship grant and worked as a university English teacher in Kenitra, Morocco for a year. She has since then moved back and is looking forward to inspire and work with young girls as a female leader through GIRLPowR!

Girls Club Teacher

Emily Cleveland facilitates the GIRLPowR girls after-school clubs at Saratoga Elementary in Lincoln, NE.  More coming soon...

Girls Club Teacher

Yi Xuen “Tay” facilitates the after-school GIRLPowR club at Belmont Elementary in partnership with Community Learning Centers. Tay is an international student from Malaysia and she is currently working her final year to obtain a Psychology degree, with minor in Sociology, from University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Besides her internship with GIRLPowR, Tay is also holds several jobs and leadership positions at UNL. She is aiming to pursue Counseling Psychology or Higher Education Administration upon graduation, with a passion to assist and guide others when they need aid.  

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Office: P.O. Box 57576, Lincoln, NE 68505

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