Colby Swettberg, Ed.M, LCSW | Chief Executive Officer
Colby Swettberg has been Chief Executive Officer of Silver Lining Mentoring since 2009. Under Colby’s leadership, Silver Lining has grown to serve more than eight times as many young people and has more than quadrupled its budget. Silver Lining was named as a Social Innovator in 2014 for “providing a sustainable solution to one of the region’s toughest social issues,” and was subsequently selected as a three year investee by Social Venture Partners as a result of the organization’s high impact, results-driven model.
Colby came to Silver Lining Mentoring after working at The Home for Little Wanderers, where Colby opened and oversaw a group home for LGBTQ teenagers, did clinical work in adoption and family stabilization, and provided training and consultation nationwide on LGBTQ issues. In 2012, Colby was honored to be chosen by then Senator John Kerry for the “Angel in Adoption” award for advocacy efforts on behalf of youth in foster care. In 2013, Colby was honored to receive the “Women of Excellence” award from national child welfare organization Youth Villages for service to youth in foster care. As a former educator, Colby earned a Master’s Degree in Education from Harvard University, and later, when Colby’s focus turned to child welfare, Colby earned a Master’s degree in Social Work. Colby serves on the board of the Massachusetts Nonprofit Network.
Julie Asher | Deputy Director
Julie joined Silver Lining Mentoring in May 2017. Having learned about the child welfare system from her work in the public and philanthropic sectors, she is thrilled to have the opportunity to contribute to Silver Lining Mentoring’s important mission. Julie has dedicated her career to promoting positive impact and equity for children and families. Most recently, Julie worked at the Center on the Developing Child, where she facilitated partnerships across sectors with the goal of developing new solutions to support young children’s development. Prior to this, she worked as a senior program officer at the Robin Hood Foundation, overseeing early childhood and youth grants to nonprofits in New York City. Previously, she worked for the City of New York’s Administration for Children’s Services as a policy analyst for child care and child welfare. Julie earned her bachelor’s degree in human development and family studies from Cornell University and her master’s degree in public policy from the Goldman School of Public Policy at UC Berkeley.
Cori Mykoff | Director of Development
Cori has always been fortunate to work with organizations whose missions seek to improve lives in a community-driven way. As a beneficiary of strong role models, Cori feels that access to great mentorship can change lives, and is honored that this passion has led her to Silver Lining Mentoring—a proven leader in providing this critical service to young people who need it most. Before Silver Lining, Cori was the senior development officer at The Posse Foundation in Boston, where she directed local fundraising efforts through collaboration with volunteer leaders, corporate sponsorships, grants, and events. Previously, she was the development officer at TERC, where she worked on federal research grants and national educator trade shows. Cori began her career at The Boston Bar Association and Foundation, where she helped to administer over $1 million in legal aid grants annually, and coordinated several volunteer committees and efforts. Outside of Silver Lining, Cori is a Board Member of The Philanthropy Connection, and volunteers with Emerson College, her alma mater.
Diana Meyers | Director of Administration
Diana Meyers joined Silver Lining Mentoring in April 2014 to serve as the organization’s Director of Administration. She is responsible for managing daily and ongoing operations. Prior to joining SLM, Diana held the simultaneous, dual role of Administrative Director for the non-profits Mil Milagros and Strategies for Children. Having once been a foster parent herself, Diana saw first-hand the tremendous challenges faced by youth in the foster care system. Diana earned an M.Ed. at Eastern Nazarene College in a program sponsored by the Boston Public Schools and holds a BA in health studies.
Alaina Rosenberry, LCSW | Director of Programs
Alaina Rosenberry first joined Silver Lining Mentoring in September 2010 as an intern from Simmons School of Social Work. Alaina comes to SLM with experience in issues of homelessness and youth education from her work at St. Mary’s Women and Children’s Center and Crittenton Women’s Union. Alaina completed her second clinical internship at Children’s Charter Trauma Clinic where she provided individual and family therapy to children, adolescents and adults who have experienced trauma. Alaina completed her Masters in Social Work and serves as Director of Programs, overseeing SLM’s one-to-one mentoring program and working to build and support long-term mentoring relationships for youth in care.
Valentina Alfaro, MSW | Program Coordinator
Valentina joined Silver Lining Mentoring in August 2018. She began her career as a social worker in a non-profit in Chile, where she is originally from, supporting the development of social-emotional and employment skills and for young people who have experienced trauma and out-of-home care experiences. Her passion for advocating and working towards a more equitable and fair society inspired her to come to Boston to pursue her Masters in Social work from Boston College. Prior to working at SLM, Valentina was working at the United Way of Massachusetts Way and Merrimack Valley supporting the Youth Venture Initiative as a mentor for young people creating a venue to address their community’s needs. She is thrilled to have this new opportunity to keep working with and for young people, using the power of relationships to foster resilience and empowering youth to achieve their maximum potential.
Christina “Mobile” Burrell | Senior Program Coordinator
Christina ‘Mobile’ Burrell became a member of the Silver Lining Mentoring community in September 2015. As Program Coordinator, Mobile supports young people in Silver Lining Mentoring’s Learn & Earn Service. Prior to joining Silver Lining Mentoring, Mobile completed internships at the Children’s Advocacy Center of Suffolk County and in a Boston Public Middle School. These experiences along with her prior work with children and youth navigating difficult life circumstances fueled her passion for contributing to making society more equitable and just for all individuals. Mobile comes to Silver Lining Mentoring with an eagerness to use her skills for creating and improving opportunities for youth to grow and excel in various aspects of life. Mobile has a B.A. in Human Development and Psychology from Connecticut College and received her Masters of Social Work from Boston College.
Kelly joined Silver Lining Mentoring in June of 2018. She has a Bachelor of Arts in English, Philosophy and Women’s and Gender Studies from Simmons College. Kelly became involved with mentoring through her term of service in an Americorps program piloting a near-peer mentoring program for recent immigrant youth with Quincy Asian Resources. Kelly first began her journey with SLM as a mentor in the Learn and Earn program and is excited to contribute to the mission of empowering foster care youth!
Taylor Folt | Data & Evaluation Manager
Taylor joined Silver Lining Mentoring in July 2018. Her career began in the healthcare sector, where she worked for nearly four years as an IT Trainer, Data Analyst, and Project Manager at Boston Medical Center. Curious to explore her creative interests, Taylor then served as an AmeriCorps VISTA at the Massachusetts College of Art and Design. At MassArt, she served in the Center for Art and Community Partnerships and helped the sparc! the ArtMobile team design evaluations that fit the dynamic nature of their programming. Taylor was so inspired by the talent, maturity, and humor of the young people she worked with at MassArt that she became a mentor with SLM shortly after. As her VISTA year came to a close, she was thrilled to begin her next steps at SLM as a mentor and an employee. She greatly enjoys combining her technical acumen with her belief in the resilience of young people.
Taylor holds a B.A. in Biochemistry, Biophysics, and Molecular Biology and Art History & Visual Culture Studies from Whitman College and an MPH in Epidemiology from the Boston University School of Public Health.
Christina Haines | Volunteer Manager
Christina joined Silver Lining Mentoring in June 2018. Christina brings over a decade of program management, communications and strategic planning experience with organizations working to advance equity and opportunity. Volunteer work, including her ongoing role as a Silver Lining Mentor over the past two years, led Christina to find her calling supporting youth affected by foster care by leveraging the community in impactful ways. Christina formerly served as Associate Director for Policy and Institutional Outreach of the Harvard Global Health Institute, an interdisciplinary research and education initiative. In previous roles, she worked as Manager of the Reimagine Learning Fund at New Profit, a national venture philanthropy firm, in volunteer management with Family Services of the Merrimack Valley, and in intercultural relations. Christina is also a trained mediator through the Harvard Mediation Program. She holds a B.A. from Marist College in economics, and a Master of Liberal Arts from Harvard with a concentration in government.
Leah Harrigan, MA | Program Coordinator
Leah Harrigan joined Silver Lining Mentoring in May 2018. Leah comes to SLM with a background in teaching and social service leadership, and is excited to bring a clinical developmental lens to young people and their networks. Leah has teaching and mentoring experience in various school settings, including AmeriCorps-affiliated Providence charter schools and the Eliot-Pearson Children’s School. She completed an internship leading therapeutic group sessions at the Walker Community Based Acute Treatment program, which helped strengthen her advocacy for social-emotional learning. Most recently, Leah worked as a clinician and clinical supervisor at Youth Villages, providing family therapy as well as clinical training to in-home counselors. Leah holds a BA in Psychology from Providence College and received her Masters in Child Study and Human Development from Tufts University.
Evan Hubbard, LICSW | Program Supervisor
Evan Hubbard joined Silver Lining Mentoring in February 2012. He received a Masters of Social Work from Wheelock College in 2010, where he specialized in working with LGBTQ youth involved in the foster and adoption care system. In 2007, Evan worked at True Colors Inc., a mentoring program for LGBTQ youth in care. Following his passion for helping LGBTQ youth in care, he worked at Greater Boston PFLAG (Parents, Friends and Families of Lesbians and Gays) to help youth and their caregivers develop and foster healthy relationships and environments. While at Greater Boston PFLAG, Evan facilitated support groups, ran trainings statewide, presented at conferences and provided 1-to-1 support for parents and youth. Most recently, he worked at Elm Brook Place helping adults with psychiatric disabilities transition back into the workforce. Evan is excited to return his focus to the population that motivated him to pursue a career in social work.
Jesse joined Silver Lining Mentoring in January 2017. They received their Masters of Social Work from the University of Michigan, focusing on supporting LGBTQ+ youth share their personal stories as a means to educate and support safe and inclusive climates in young people’s schools and communities.Prior to this, Jesse served as an educator in Japan, as a JET Program participant, and Cape Verde and Mozambique as a US Peace Corps Volunteer. These experiences helped shape Jesse’s commitment to empowering youth to grow and share their voices in creating positive change within their communities. Jesse is excited to be a part of the Silver Lining Mentoring family, supporting SLM’s mission and goals as well as directly supporting young people affected by the foster care system.
Lara Kingstone | Outreach & Recruitment Coordinator
Lara joined Silver Lining Mentoring in December 2017. She started her career as a Senior Mentor in The Challenge, a UK-based program designed to integrate London communities and empower youth to become active and engaged citizens. She then worked in an Educational Center in Israel, which aimed to help Palestinian and Israeli young people learn English together, while beginning to see each other as peers and friends. Lara earned a BA in Political Communications at IDC Herzliya, an Israeli University, while working as a journalist at The Culture Trip and producing and hosting a human rights radio talk show. After graduating, she moved to the Thai-Lao border where she volunteered at Child Rights And Protection Center, a small non-profit and girl’s shelter, which aims to prevent human trafficking and provide a safe and confidence-building environment for at-risk young women. Lara comes to Silver Lining Mentoring ready and excited to learn and work hard.
Victoria Murray, LCSW | Senior Program Coordinator
Victoria Murray joined Silver Lining Mentoring in February 2014. She received her Master of Social Service from Bryn Mawr College. Prior to SLM, Victoria worked as a therapist, primarily working with youth and families around around navigating trauma, loss, anxiety, depression and family communication. Victoria is passionate about working with youth and utilizing a strengths-based perspective to help foster strong and authentic relationships. While in graduate school, Victoria worked at St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children in Philadelphia, PA, supporting children and families in a healthcare setting. In addition, she worked at Lakeside Girls Academy, supporting pregnant and parenting youth while continuing their education. She has been fortunate to work with youth in a variety of settings including outdoor education, public schools, and home and community outreach, and is excited to bring her experiences to Silver Lining Mentoring.
Juliana Scherer, MPH, LCSW | Program Coordinator
Juliana joined Silver Lining Mentoring in October 2017. She received her Master of Social Work and Master of Public Health degrees from Boston University. Juliana began her career working with survivors of sexual and domestic violence, and went on to provide young parent support services through Massachusetts Healthy Families. Juliana completed clinical social work internships in hospital and community settings, where she focused particularly on empowerment, and the relationships between trauma, substance use and mental health, in the context of social oppressions.
Juliana couples her social work practice with her education in health policy and management, in the interest of developing social service programs which are equitable, effective and efficient, and shaped by the people they serve. Juliana is grateful to join the SLM family and excited to participate in the agency’s commitment to youth impacted by foster care.
Breylis Rodríguez | External Relations Manager
Breylis joined Silver Lining Mentoring in October 2018. Breylis has worked in the legal and e-commerce sector with roles in Marketing and Accounting prior to joining SLM. In his spare time Breylis enjoys eating all types of food, photography, traveling, and teaching himself different languages on Duolingo. Breylis is also an active Board Member of the Summer Search Boston Alumni Board. Breylis attended three different universities, but ultimately ended up graduating from UMass Boston with a degree in Communications. As a Summer Search alum, Breylis understands the power of mentoring and is excited to be part of an organization doing important work for young people in foster care.
Sandra Hodgetts | Grants Manager
Sandra Hodgetts joined Silver Lining Mentoring in July 2013. She has a B.A. in International Relations and a minor in Hispanic Studies from Connecticut College, where she completed an independent study on the effects of the Hague Adoption Convention on Guatemala’s adoption process. Sandra has experience working with youth in the foster care system during her time as an AmeriCorps VISTA on the Development Team at the Massachusetts Adoption Resource Exchange (MARE).