About us

SWOB Event

Sitters Without Borders, Inc. ("SWOB") is a first of its kind non-profit organization that offers free to low-cost weekly babysitting services to low-income mothers attending college in the Greater Boston area. Our volunteer sitters are committed to assisting mothers with childcare responsibilities, allowing them to pursue higher education and elevate their economic position.

Our collaboration with many universities and organizations in Boston has allowed us to grow rapidly. The organization, founded 4 years ago, has now successfully served over 88 families in the Greater Boston area, with a waiting list of families in need and volunteers ready to serve.


Our leadership and staff members are made up of passionate and committed individuals, keen to assist SWOB achieve its potentials. The board is well-organized and meet regularly with staff to strategize and plan for our short and long-term undertakings.

STAFF

 
Elizabeth Johnson
 
Lisa Vollen

Elizabeth Johnson

Executive Director

Elizabeth has over 20 years of executive leadership in social service and political advocacy with a demonstrated history of working in the non-profit organization management industry. She is a strong community and social services professional graduated from Harvard University Graduate School of Education.

 

Lisa Vollen

PROGRAM MANAGER

Lisa has over 6 years of experience managing programs and building strategic relationships with diverse stakeholders. She holds an MBA in Social Entrepreneurship and Impact Management from Brandeis University. She feels passionately about economic empowerment, helping people to develop professionally, and spreading multicultural knowledge. In her spare time, her favorite places to be are in the kitchen inventing her latest healthy recipe, or on top of a mountain.


Board of Directors

 
  Oksana Hradyska    Founder & President |   Governance   Committee   Oksana is a medical device engineer turned philanthropist. She founded SWOB upon discovering the immense need for such an organization and has not stopped trying to grow its operations to serve more mothers in the Greater Boston area. Oksana’s work in her field revolves around product development of biomedical devices. Outside of work she is an avid salsa dancer!

Oksana Hradyska

Founder & President | Governance Committee

Oksana is a medical device engineer turned philanthropist. She founded SWOB upon discovering the immense need for such an organization and has not stopped trying to grow its operations to serve more mothers in the Greater Boston area. Oksana’s work in her field revolves around product development of biomedical devices. Outside of work she is an avid salsa dancer!

  Ellen Bruce    Board Director | Senior Fellow at UMass Boston | Development Committee   Ellen spent 13 years as a legal services attorney before going to the University of Massachusetts Boston where she became an associate professor of gerontology, founder and director of the Pension Action Center, and the Director of the Gerontology Institute. She currently consults on issues of economic security for women and older adults and has extensive experience on boards of non-profits.

Ellen Bruce

Board Director | Senior Fellow at UMass Boston | Development Committee

Ellen spent 13 years as a legal services attorney before going to the University of Massachusetts Boston where she became an associate professor of gerontology, founder and director of the Pension Action Center, and the Director of the Gerontology Institute. She currently consults on issues of economic security for women and older adults and has extensive experience on boards of non-profits.

  Caitlin Cornwall    Board Director | Sr. Clinical Research Associate at Corbus Pharmaceuticals |   Operations Committee   Caitlin started at SWOB in 2014 as a volunteer sitter. After 2 years of babysitting to support SWOB mothers and their adorable children, Caitlin joined the board and is excited to continue promoting SWOB's mission of advancing moms out of poverty! Outside of SWOB, she works for a pharmaceutical startup and is pursuing her MBA.

Caitlin Cornwall

Board Director | Sr. Clinical Research Associate at Corbus Pharmaceuticals | Operations Committee

Caitlin started at SWOB in 2014 as a volunteer sitter. After 2 years of babysitting to support SWOB mothers and their adorable children, Caitlin joined the board and is excited to continue promoting SWOB's mission of advancing moms out of poverty! Outside of SWOB, she works for a pharmaceutical startup and is pursuing her MBA.

 
  Sandy Shea    Board Director | N  on-profit Professional | Development Committee   Sandy has spent her professional career in the labor movement, working with physicians in training to improve working conditions, patient safety and access to health care. From 2008 to 2016, she served as program director for a non-profit dedicated to developing physician leaders committed to achieving a just healthcare system.

Sandy Shea

Board Director | Non-profit Professional | Development Committee

Sandy has spent her professional career in the labor movement, working with physicians in training to improve working conditions, patient safety and access to health care. From 2008 to 2016, she served as program director for a non-profit dedicated to developing physician leaders committed to achieving a just healthcare system.

  Roman Hradysky    Co-Founder & Board Director | Account Manager at FoodTec Solutions | Governance   Committee   As a founding board member, Roman utilizes his background in management to oversee the initial development and consequential growth of the organization. Roman's broad experience in various industries brings multifaceted perspectives to SWOB's table. SWOB leverages on his experience in management for a variety of projects that we undertake. 

Roman Hradysky

Co-Founder & Board Director | Account Manager at FoodTec Solutions | Governance Committee

As a founding board member, Roman utilizes his background in management to oversee the initial development and consequential growth of the organization. Roman's broad experience in various industries brings multifaceted perspectives to SWOB's table. SWOB leverages on his experience in management for a variety of projects that we undertake. 

  Yasmin Soraya    Board Director | Independent Strategy and Operations Consultant | Operations Committee   Yasmin is passionate about economic empowerment of marginalized groups and believes in SWOB's model for social change. She shares her management consulting, accounting, and socioeconomic development experience at SWOB. Yasmin is pursuing a micromasters in development economics with a focus on randomized evaluations in public policy, and enjoys surfing, diving and swing dancing in her free time.

Yasmin Soraya

Board Director | Independent Strategy and Operations Consultant | Operations Committee

Yasmin is passionate about economic empowerment of marginalized groups and believes in SWOB's model for social change. She shares her management consulting, accounting, and socioeconomic development experience at SWOB. Yasmin is pursuing a micromasters in development economics with a focus on randomized evaluations in public policy, and enjoys surfing, diving and swing dancing in her free time.

 
  Allison MacLeod    Board Director | Sr Director, Business Development and Customer Marketing at Rapid7 | Development Committee   Allison is a go to market leader with expertise in driving high velocity inbound marketing engines, ABM, customer advocacy and business development. She loves all things demand generation, and building and coaching high performing teams. Allison brings to the table her expertise in marketing to help SWOB gain more exposure and build a wider supporter base.

Allison MacLeod

Board Director | Sr Director, Business Development and Customer Marketing at Rapid7 | Development Committee

Allison is a go to market leader with expertise in driving high velocity inbound marketing engines, ABM, customer advocacy and business development. She loves all things demand generation, and building and coaching high performing teams. Allison brings to the table her expertise in marketing to help SWOB gain more exposure and build a wider supporter base.

  Rachel Puopolo    Board Director |   Director of CLA First! and Early Support Program at   University of Massachusetts Boston   | Operations Committee   Rachel is the director of a learning community for first-year students at the University of Massachusetts Boston. She has worked in higher education, including academic advising and student support services throughout her career. She is passionate about helping women achieve their academic, and professional goals, and feels deeply connected to SWOB’s mission.

Rachel Puopolo

Board Director | Director of CLA First! and Early Support Program at University of Massachusetts Boston | Operations Committee

Rachel is the director of a learning community for first-year students at the University of Massachusetts Boston. She has worked in higher education, including academic advising and student support services throughout her career. She is passionate about helping women achieve their academic, and professional goals, and feels deeply connected to SWOB’s mission.

  Simon Brown    Board Director &   Treasurer | Senior Associate, Corporate and Business Strategy at Strategy& |   Governance   Committee   As a management consultant with Strategy&, Simon works with senior executives to identify, clarify, and resolve their most complex strategic issues. Simon brings higher education experience, analytics capabilities and strategic problem solving skills to SWOB, and hopes to help SWOB grow into a self-sustaining organization. Outside of work Simon is an amateur mixologist and water polo player.

Simon Brown

Board Director & Treasurer | Senior Associate, Corporate and Business Strategy at Strategy& | Governance Committee

As a management consultant with Strategy&, Simon works with senior executives to identify, clarify, and resolve their most complex strategic issues. Simon brings higher education experience, analytics capabilities and strategic problem solving skills to SWOB, and hopes to help SWOB grow into a self-sustaining organization. Outside of work Simon is an amateur mixologist and water polo player.


Board of Advisors

1. Samuel Batchelder, Esq. | Retired NPO Consultant, Executive Service Corps of New England | Former Partner, Goodwin Procter

2. Dr. Robert Hill | Founder and Sr. Coach, Match Beyond of Match Education

3. Kimberly Gulko | Academic Coordinator, Harvard University

4. Dr. Mary Oleskiewicz | Associate’s Professor, UMass Boston

5. Dr. Kathleen O’Neal | Director of Single Stop, Bunker Hill Community College

6. Ethan Bernstein | CEO & Founder, FreeBird

7. Nigel Kheng | Operations Manager, Twin Rivers Tech | Guest Speaker, Harvard Extension School

8. Lisa R. Carter | Director of Single Stop, Roxbury Community College

9. Mojdeh Barros | Management Consultant to Nonprofits, Executive Services Corps of New England | Sr. Project Manager at INSYS Group, Inc.

10. Lauren A. Tripod | Academic Planning Coordinator, Teacher’s Bookshelf

11. Zoe N. Anetakis | Executive Director, TUGG

12. Liza M. Nascembeni | Associate Director of MBA Community Standards, Harvard Business School

13. Thanie William-Phillip | Mother, Sitters Without Borders


Note from the founder

Oksana

When I was studying biochemistry in college, I saw many students coming to class with their babies. Sometimes there were strollers in the classroom and when we had lab, moms found acquaintances to watch their children in the cafeteria for a few hours. These young women were intelligent and competent, but of course, after struggling with childcare for a while, they dropped their studies.  

I had babysat throughout high school and college, so it was obvious to me how a single mom in the Boston area wouldn’t be able to make ends meet, raise a child and on top of that, attend college. Partially from my own babysitting experience, I realized what these moms needed to complete their degree - a few babysitting hours so they can go to class – for free, at their home, by a trusted babysitter. No strings attached.

I gave it a try. Immediately there were Sitters interested in giving 4 hours a week of their time, to help low-income moms and play with kids every week. And there were many mothers eager to receive our services. Organization protocols were developed and systems set up. Over 3 years, 45 families, a long waiting list and a great reputation later, Sitters Without Borders continues to meet the requests of women who are reaching towards their economic independence. 

Our goal is to advance as many mothers into economic independence so, get to know us, reach out and get involved. You too can make a difference in these women's lives!


Our supporters and partners