About us

SWOB Event

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

Our collaboration with many universities and organizations in Boston has allowed us to grow rapidly. The organization, founded 3 years ago, has now successfully served over 45 families in the Greater Boston area, with a long waiting list of families in need and volunteers ready to serve.


Our supporters and partners


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!


Board of Directors

Oksana Hradyska Founder & President | Board Chair 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 | Board Chair

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 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

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 Treasurer & Board Director | Sr. Clinical Research Associate at Corbus Pharmaceuticals 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

Treasurer & Board Director | Sr. Clinical Research Associate at Corbus Pharmaceuticals

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.

Jessica von Goeler Secretary & Board Director | Project Manager at Parexel International Jessica has a unique background in business, engineering, and non-profit. Throughout her career, she has advocated for contentious smoking bans in Massachusetts restaurants and bars and changed federal regulations around United States Coast Guard regulations and type 1 diabetes. Jessica currently works in the biopharmaceutical industry, providing interactive response technology for drug trials.

Jessica von Goeler

Secretary & Board Director | Project Manager at Parexel International

Jessica has a unique background in business, engineering, and non-profit. Throughout her career, she has advocated for contentious smoking bans in Massachusetts restaurants and bars and changed federal regulations around United States Coast Guard regulations and type 1 diabetes. Jessica currently works in the biopharmaceutical industry, providing interactive response technology for drug trials.

 
Yasmin Soraya Board Director | Independent Economic Development Consultant | CPA Yasmin is an experienced management consultant with a demonstrated history of working with public sector clients. She is well-versed in market research, business development, strategic planning, and socio-economic development. Yasmin is a CPA and is currently pursuing a Masters in Development Economics. She is also a trained para-counsellor for domestic violence and an ecodiver for Reef Check Foundation. In her free time, Yasmin enjoys surfing and swing dancing.

Yasmin Soraya

Board Director | Independent Economic Development Consultant | CPA

Yasmin is an experienced management consultant with a demonstrated history of working with public sector clients. She is well-versed in market research, business development, strategic planning, and socio-economic development. Yasmin is a CPA and is currently pursuing a Masters in Development Economics. She is also a trained para-counsellor for domestic violence and an ecodiver for Reef Check Foundation. In her free time, Yasmin enjoys surfing and swing dancing.

Cara Mann Board Fellow | Partner Manager at EDX Cara has deep experience in the nonprofit world. Her career in education began in international study abroad and includes experience in higher education research and consulting. She has worked with clients across the higher education and K-12 sectors and is passionate about building mutually beneficial partnerships. While serving City Year, she led its national relationships with a portfolio of corporate partners, helping to bring their social impact goals to life and guiding the strategic growth of these accounts. She is currently a Partner Manager with edX, an online learning platform offering high-quality courses from top institutions around the globe.

Cara Mann

Board Fellow | Partner Manager at EDX

Cara has deep experience in the nonprofit world. Her career in education began in international study abroad and includes experience in higher education research and consulting. She has worked with clients across the higher education and K-12 sectors and is passionate about building mutually beneficial partnerships. While serving City Year, she led its national relationships with a portfolio of corporate partners, helping to bring their social impact goals to life and guiding the strategic growth of these accounts. She is currently a Partner Manager with edX, an online learning platform offering high-quality courses from top institutions around the globe.

Roman Hradysky Co-Founder & Board Director | Senior Manager at Third Party Logistics Group As a founding board member, Roman utilises his background in management to oversee the initial development and consequential growth of the organization. His involvement in creating SWOB’s mission statement helped set the goals for those involved, provided directions and set the organisational tone for the team. Roman's broad experience in multiple industries brings creativity and innovation to the organization while his management skills contributes to the streamlining and maintaining operational efficiency within SWOB.

Roman Hradysky

Co-Founder & Board Director | Senior Manager at Third Party Logistics Group

As a founding board member, Roman utilises his background in management to oversee the initial development and consequential growth of the organization. His involvement in creating SWOB’s mission statement helped set the goals for those involved, provided directions and set the organisational tone for the team. Roman's broad experience in multiple industries brings creativity and innovation to the organization while his management skills contributes to the streamlining and maintaining operational efficiency within SWOB.

Glenn Griffin III Board Director | Police Agent at the San Francisco Police Dept. Glenn is a police agent from the San Francisco Police Department. He has been with SWOB since its inception and played an instrumental role in growing SWOB into what it is today. His contribution to SWOB include fundraising and governance support.

Glenn Griffin III

Board Director | Police Agent at the San Francisco Police Dept.

Glenn is a police agent from the San Francisco Police Department. He has been with SWOB since its inception and played an instrumental role in growing SWOB into what it is today. His contribution to SWOB include fundraising and governance support.

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

Team
 

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

 

Operations

 
Kelly

Kelly Ferguson

Family coordinator

Kelly is a nonprofit professional with a passion for female empowerment and experience working with Asian immigrant families as well as young girls around Greater Boston. She has a Bachelor of Arts from Simmons College in English, Philosophy and Women’s and Gender Studies. She is an avid reader and has performed in bands! Kelly is the Family Coordinator, and acts as SWOB’s liaison to enroll and serve clients, to set them up for academic and financial success.

 

Carolina Traynor

Operations intern

Carolina is a fifth year Honors student at Northeastern University, majoring in Business with concentrations in Marketing and Finance.  She has experience working in the fields of Digital Marketing and Merchandising at companies like Wayfair, Rue La La, and TJX Companies Inc and started as a Development Intern for SWOB at the end of 2014.  As a college student, she knows how difficult juggling classes and other responsibilities can be, and could not imagine how stressful it would be for a mother attending college. She wanted to do something different and meaningful--lending a hand to mothers in school in the area through SWOB is a perfect avenue. Carolina is insatiably curious and has a passion for learning!

Chynna

Chynna Lewis

development intern

Chynna Lewis got her start in the nonprofit world with SWOB as a Development Intern in 2015. She is currently studying International Business, with minors in International Affairs and Economics, at Northeastern University. She loves helping women succeed, especially single mothers, as she understands how hard college can be. Chynna is ecstatic to have found a way that she can utilize her skill set to give back and help single mothers. In her free time, she is an avid musician who performs with NU Stage Musical Theater Company at Northeastern!