About us

SWOB Event

Sitters Without Borders, Inc. (SWOB) is a first of its kind non-profit organization. It 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 various universities and organizations throughout Boston has allowed us to grow rapidly. The organization, founded in 2014, has now successfully helped 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
 
Claire Hughes

Elizabeth Johnson

Executive Director

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

 

Claire Hughes

PROGRAM MANAGER

Over the past 30 years, Claire has worked in the fields of public health and education doing education, outreach, and advocacy for infants to the elderly. As a lifelong resident of Boston she is also committed to strengthening her neighborhood through her work in community activism. 


Board of Directors

Ellen Bruce    Board President | Sr. Fellow at UMass Boston   Ellen spent 13 years as a legal service 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 the boards of non-profits.

Ellen Bruce

Board President | Sr. Fellow at UMass Boston

Ellen spent 13 years as a legal service 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 the boards of non-profits.

Maria Lopez    Board Vice President | MEL Specialist   Maria is passionate about issues affecting economic empowerment and women, and hopes to help the organization grow so more families can benefit from the assistance SWOB provides. She holds a Master in Public Administration degree from Northeastern University, and has provided research and program evaluation support for organizations in the fields of higher education, housing and economic empowerment, grassroots organizing, and international development. Maria enjoys baking, arts and crafts, and exploring Metro Boston in her spare time.

Maria Lopez

Board Vice President | MEL Specialist

Maria is passionate about issues affecting economic empowerment and women, and hopes to help the organization grow so more families can benefit from the assistance SWOB provides. She holds a Master in Public Administration degree from Northeastern University, and has provided research and program evaluation support for organizations in the fields of higher education, housing and economic empowerment, grassroots organizing, and international development. Maria enjoys baking, arts and crafts, and exploring Metro Boston in her spare time.

Simon Brown    Board Director | Corporate and Business Strategy, State Street Bank   Simon is at State Street Bank he 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. He 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 | Corporate and Business Strategy, State Street Bank

Simon is at State Street Bank he 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. He hopes to help SWOB grow into a self-sustaining organization. Outside of work Simon is an amateur mixologist and water polo player.

Allison MacLeod    Board Director | Sr. Director, Business Development and Customer Marketing, Rapid7   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 support base.

Allison MacLeod

Board Director | Sr. Director, Business Development and Customer Marketing, Rapid7

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 support base.

Jenny Marcelin    Board Director | Human Resource Administrator, Bentley University   Jenny is a HR Administrative Assistant at Bentley University in Waltham, Massachusetts. She is the mother of two young children and earned her MBA at Cambridge College with the help of Sitters Without Borders. Because of her own experience, she is passionate about helping SWOB grow and helping other single parents like herself obtain college degrees.

Jenny Marcelin

Board Director | Human Resource Administrator, Bentley University

Jenny is a HR Administrative Assistant at Bentley University in Waltham, Massachusetts. She is the mother of two young children and earned her MBA at Cambridge College with the help of Sitters Without Borders. Because of her own experience, she is passionate about helping SWOB grow and helping other single parents like herself obtain college degrees.

Rachel Puopolo    Board Director | Director of CLA First! and Early Support Program at University of Massachusetts Boston   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

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.

Sandy Shea    Board Director | Non-Profit Professional   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 the 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

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 the 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   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 bring multifaceted perspectives to SWOB's table. SWOB leverages on his experience in management for a variety of projects that they undertake.

Roman Hradysky

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

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 bring multifaceted perspectives to SWOB's table. SWOB leverages on his experience in management for a variety of projects that they undertake.


Board of Advisors

Zoe N. Anetakis Executive Director of TUGG

Mojdeh Barros Management Consultant to Non-Profits, Executive Services Corps of New England, Senior Project Manager at INSYS Group, Inc.

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

Ethan Bernstein CEO & Founder of FreeBird

Lisa R. Carter Director of Single Stop at Roxbury Community College

Kimberly Gulko Academic Coordinator for Harvard University

Dr. Robert Hill Founder and Senior Coach for Match Beyond at Match Education

Nigel Kheng Operations Manager at Twin Rivers Technologies, Guest Speaker for Harvard Extension School

Liza M. Nascembeni Associate Director of MBA Community Standards for Harvard Business School

Dr. Kathleen O’Neal Director of Single Stop at Bunker Hill Community College

Dr. Mary Oleskiewicz Associate’s Professor at UMass Boston

Lauren A. Tripod Academic Planning Coordinator for Teacher’s Bookshelf

Thanie William-Phillip Mother at 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 were set up. More than 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!


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