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Our Team

Anjali Thakrar - Co Founder

Anjali is a student at UC Berkeley studying Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. She's incredibly passionate about education equity and minority empowerment, and interested in creating accessible and low-cost educational technologies for students upon graduation. She started ProgramHers because she noticed a need in the greater Goleta community for computer science courses in which every student has equal opportunity to engage and learn. Having experienced the gender gap in computing firsthand, her goal is for these programs to not only inspire young girls to pursue computer science, but create a supportive community of STEM-focused young women that will carry on into the future.

Alessa Somer- Former President + Co-Founder

Alessa graduated from Dos Pueblos High School in Santa Barbara, California, in 2021. She loves math and STEM related activities, and is very passionate about access to education for children around the world, especially girl’s rights in school. Alessa united her two passions into ProgramHers, where she hopes to encourage girls to develop a passion and interest for programming, just as she has! Outside of her passion for STEM, Alessa enjoys playing tennis, reading, and designing clothes. She also loves to hike in the beautiful mountains of Santa Barbara.

Anna Roney- Former Leading Member

Anna graduated from Dos Pueblos High School in 2021, and loves exploring new fields of technology and science. She is excited to be working with young girls that have similar interests to her, and expanding their fascination in STEM. She has been working with ProgramHers since 2018 and hopes to continue teaching throughout all of highschool. She joined because of her great interest in engineering, and a desire to show the next generation of girls that they can be confident while studying any field.

Mia Chou- Former Leading Member

Mia Chou graduated from Dos Pueblos High School in 2021, and is a proud member of the ProgramHers Team. She is passionate about environmental issues and also strongly believes in the importance of education for young girls. She hopes to do her part in giving the girls in her community the most opportunities that they can have. She also enjoys playing tennis, piano and having fun with her friends. She hasn’t decided what career she would like to pursue when she gets older, but she knows she wants to be a good person.

Sagarika Manian - Current President

Sagarika Manian is a junior at Dos Pueblos High School in Goleta, California and a member of the Dos Pueblos Engineering Academy as well. She is very fascinated with STEM, and loves to spread her passion of STEM to young girls everywhere. She runs the meetings and makes sure the organization is running smoothly. She also wrote a grant to the Santa Barbara Education Foundation and now her application serves as an example to other applicants. Outside of ProgramHERS, Sagarika is on the Varsity Golf team, a member of Octobot Robotics,  co-founder/co-president of DP’s Self Care Club, 2nd Vice Chair of Santa Barbara Youth Council, a member of Girls Inc Teen Advocacy Council and serves as the Personnel Director and Board Member of YouthMuze, a non profit where they teach music to K-12 students for free in the community.

Taylor Dirksen - Current Co-Vice President

Taylor Dirksen is a Junior at Dos Pueblos High School, and is the Co-President of Women in Technology. She composes all of the electronic correspondences with any person or club interested in WIT, including our collaboration with UCSB's Society of Women Engineers to plan the Hackathon, as well as the in-person correspondence making sure to spread the message of WIT to encourage people to participate in our work at WIT. Taylor also assists her team members in developing projects to better educate our community about opportunities in STEM. Some of Taylor's interests include singing, dancing, theater, astrophysics, math, engineering, and hanging out with friends and family.

Lauren Lee - Current Co-Vice President

Lauren Lee is a Junior at Dos Pueblos High School, and the Co-President of Women in Technology. In the past, she's developed all the lesson plans used at events and club meetings, making sure everything is fun, educational, and interactive. Lauren has been involved with STEM-related clubs and organizations since elementary school, and wants to help spread the message that anyone can pursue a career in STEM. Outside of the club, Lauren is a member of the FIRST Robotics team "The Octobots" (team number 9084), she is part of DP's Varsity Girls Lacrosse team, and is the co-president of Together to Empower, another DP non-profit. She plays the piano, and competes in various piano competitions, as well as teaches piano to younger students through the organization "YouthMuze." Lauren loves to write, and has competed in numerous writing competitions. Additionally, she loves to read, hang out with friends, and watch Marvel movies with her family.

Katja Broomberg - Current Creative Marketer

Katja Broomberg is a Junior at Dos Pueblos High School, and is the Creative Marketer of Women In Technology. As Creative Marketer, she creates all the flyers for the club, helps come up with activity ideas the club could carry out, and assists her fellow peers with different tasks when needed. Some of her favorite hobbies include traveling, theater, singing, volunteering at the Jewish Federation Hebrew School, and spending time with her family and friends.

Audrey Messer - Current Treasurer

Audrey Messer is a Junior at Dos Pueblos High School, and the treasurer for Women in Technology. Audrey's role consists of securing funds for club events, finding sponsors, fundraising, and keeping track of finances. When Audrey is not managing the funds of WIT, she keeps the club member's morale high, and loves to help create community during meetings and at events. Some of Audrey's interests include dancing, reading, theater, engineering, and hanging out with friends and family.

Stella Daoud - Current Secretary/Communications Officer

Stella Daoud is a Senior at Dos Pueblos High School, and the secretary as well as the communications officer for Women In Technology. Stella's role consists of exciting fellow students to join the club, helping with taking attendance, and reminding peers to show up to meetings. She loves giving back to the community, especially through the activities of STEM as she hopes to share her love for it with others. Some of Stella's interests include doing anything related to art, eating and making good food, and spending quality time with friends and family.

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