Barbara is thrilled to join Silver Lining Mentoring as Executive Director. Barbara is a long-time child and youth advocate with a deep commitment to unleashing the power of human potential through meaningful coaching and mentoring relationships. She most recently served as Executive Director of the Harvard Kennedy School Center for Public Leadership, where she led the rapid expansion of public service graduate fellowship programs for diverse and talented leaders from across the globe, from 51 graduate fellows in academic year 2013 – 2014 to 118 graduate fellows in academic year 2018 – 2019. Previously, Barbara spent 13 years at the Children’s Defense Fund (CDF) and served in a variety of leadership roles at the local, state and national levels. She spent ten years in CDF’s Texas office, rising from an outreach coordinator to Texas Executive Director, where she oversaw offices in Houston, Austin, and the Rio Grande Valley region along the Mexican border and mobilized regional coordinators in ten Texas cities to restore health coverage to 176,000 uninsured Texas children. She then served as national Director of Foundation Relations and Special Projects where she cultivated and stewarded relationships with major national foundations and coordinated special projects of strategic importance to CDF including a partnership with the American Association of School Administrators and school districts in four states to systematically identify uninsured children and link them with health coverage.
Barbara has benefited from strong mentors and is passionate about SLM’s mission that we thrive when we matter and every young person deserves one consistent, caring adult in their lives.
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 Excellence Award from national child welfare organization Youth Villages for service to youth in foster care. In 2017, The Barr Foundation chose Colby as a Barr Foundation Fellow in recognition of Colby’s and Silver Lining Mentoring’s leadership in foster care and mentoring innovation. 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.
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.
Suzannah was thrilled to join SLM in August 2021 as a Program Coordinator. After completing her BS in Clinical Psychology and Child Studies/Human Development from Tufts University, Suzannah graduated from Smith School of Social Work with her MSW. Through her education and training Suzannah carried a specific passion for mentorship, working with young people, permanency, and non-traditional therapeutic interventions. Prior to SLM, Suzannah has worked and interned all over the Boston area in various youth mental health settings which include a therapeutic camp setting, a group home, a school-based setting, and mutual aid organizing, as well as volunteering herself for several mentoring organizations (and having her own mentee!). Outside of work, Suzannah can be found playing a good board game, crafting (poorly), seeking out live music, trying to find dogs to pet, or simply frolicking in nature.
Christina “Mobile” Burrell | SLM Institute Program Manager
Christina “Mobile” Burrell joined Silver Lining Mentoring in September of 2015. They are an advocate for equity and fierce believer in the possibility of creating a world that everyone feels good calling home. As such, Mobile has held a variety of professional roles working on behalf of individuals who hold marginalized identities within the United States of America, including black and brown families, LGBQ/TGNC folks, youth impacted by the foster care system, and individuals of all ages living with mental disabilities. Earning an MSW at Boston College and BA in Human Development & Psychology at Connecticut College has positioned Mobile to hone many skills to better serve the families who most need it. Mobile is a highly skilled group facilitator who continues to work on building community and facilitating dialogue to propel positive change. Dedicated to ongoing learning and growth, Mobile earned a Certificate in Community Leadership and Social Change from the Jonathan M. Tisch College of Civic Life at Tufts University through the Institute for Nonprofit Practice, and is on a lifelong pursuit of growth and improvement for a better environment to exist within! Outside of work, Mobile finds joy in doing hobbies & learning fun new skills like juggling, unicycliing, slacklining, and skydiving. You will likely catch them long-boarding between destinations to catch a nice sunset or attempting to claim the title “Rollerblade King of Boston”! Good food, music, and travel makes Mobz’s heart happy!
She, her, hers
Director of Programs
Teyana Curran | Director of Programs
Teyana joined the Silver Lining Mentoring team in February 2020. Since 2010 she has been working with Boston youth and young adults and is excited to bring her passion for mentoring and social justice to SLM. Teyana deeply believes in SLM’s mission; she’s driven by her desire to empower young people to be their full selves and to have access to the opportunities that will help them thrive. After graduating from the University of Massachusetts Boston with her Master’s in Mental Health Counseling, Teyana worked at Summer Search, where she served in a variety of roles including the Director of High School Program. She spent five years mentoring students ages 15 and up, and supported other mentors in providing quality mentoring services to the participants who were navigating diverse and nuanced pathways. Teyana both values and is committed to relationship-building, and is excited to continue this commitment at SLM!
Evan Cutler joined Silver Lining Mentoring in September of 2019. Evan completed his clinical internship at Pappas Rehabilitation Hospital for Children where he provided individual, group, and milieu therapy to young people with wide ranges of cognitive and physical abilities. From 2017 to 2019, Evan worked at Franciscan Children’s as an outpatient therapist. Evan was introduced to youth mentoring while working at The Center for Evidence-Based Mentoring at UMass Boston first as an undergraduate research assistant, then as an AmeriCorps Ambassador of Mentoring, and later as a graduate research assistant. Evan holds a BS in Psychology from UMass Boston and a Graduate Certificate in Nonprofit Leadership from Wheelock College. He earned an MS in Mental Health Counseling from UMass Boston in 2017. He is excited for the opportunity to use his clinical experience as a mental health counselor and his research experience in the field of youth mentoring to support the SLM community. Outside of work, Evan is likely to be found spending time with his spouse, child, and rescue dog. When he can find the time Evan enjoys live music, gardening, and reading science fiction.
She, Her, Hers
Associate Director of Communications and Marketing
Casey Dillon | Associate Director of Communication and Marketing
Casey joined Silver Lining Mentoring in May 2021. A firm believer in the power of storytelling to uplift communities and inspire change, Casey leads development and implementation of communications and marketing strategies that expand SLM’s impact and visibility.
Previously, Casey worked at CURA Strategies, an integrated communications agency based in the Washington, DC area. She led CURA’s mental health vertical, executing successful initiatives like Mental Health for US and Advocates for Opioid Recovery. Casey also worked for Mental Health America (MHA), where she developed social media strategies, bridged the policy and communications teams to develop advocacy strategies, and planned policy meetings. Casey earned the Certified Nonprofit Professional (CNP) credential from the Nonprofit Leadership Alliance and holds a B.A. from Connecticut College.
Sky is a first-year MSW student at Simmons joining Silver Lining Mentoring for the 2021-2022 academic year. Sky comes to SLM with a background in facilitation, peer mentoring, and conflict and community-building work, particularly in LGBTQ+ communities. Sky graduated from Yale in 2019 with a BA in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. At Yale, Sky served in several facilitation and peer mentorship roles and supported the growth of a thriving trans community on Yale’s campus. Sky moved to Boston in 2019 to be a fellow at Life Together (a program of the Episcopal Service Corps). They lived in intentional community and worked with Creche, the Charles River Episcopal Co-Housing Endeavor, supporting members of Creche’s intentional housing communities and developing programming and materials on conflict as a community practice for both organizations. Sky is thrilled to join SLM and feels honored to be invited into this work. They believe very strongly in the healing and transforming power of stable, intentional relationships and communities. Sky lives in Boston with three beloved humans and a pup named Nessie and enjoys riding their bike, crocheting, and cooking for their housemates and friends.
She, Her, Hers
Director of Strategic Initiatives
Christina Haines | Director of Strategic Initiatives
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 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.
He, Him, His or They, Them, Their
Assistant Director of Clinical Strategy
Evan Hubbard, LICSW | Program Supervisor
Evan has been in the field of social work for nearly a decade. Early in his career he gained experience working in child welfare and mentoring where he witnessed the powerful impact that one consistent adult could have on a young person’s life. Moved by this experience, he went on to receive his MSW where he focused on child welfare, LGBTQ youth, trauma and attachment. In addition to his MSW, Evan is also a LICSW and a has a Graduate Certificate in Nonprofit Leadership. Evan brings a diverse skill set to his role ranging from experiences providing clinical and administrative supervision, training, program management, and providing individual therapy for individuals who were navigating identity and trauma. Evan was ecstatic to join SLM in 2012 as a Program Coordinator where he supported matches and developed SLM’s LGBTQ Mentoring Initiative. In 2015, he transitioned to the role of Program Supervisor where he currently provides clinical supervision and oversees the daily functions and overall growth of the CBM program. Every day he is grateful for the trust that youth and mentors place in SLM, and to be part of such an amazing team.
Outside of work Evan can often be found kayaking in nearby river, hiking trails and mountains all over New England, or kicking back in a local park. If he’s not outside he’s likely cooking up a storm, chasing after his nephew, binge watching a new show, or continuing his mission to find the best cup of coffee in the area.
They, Them, Their
Assistant Director of Evaluation
Jesse Kerstetter | Program Supervisor
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.
She, Her, Hers
Director of Administration
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.
Volunteer and Development Assistant
Betsy Noecker | Volunteer and Development Assistant
Betsy joined Silver Lining mentoring in February 2020. A native of Boulder, Colorado, she graduated from the University of Colorado in 2015 with a Bachelors in journalism and earth sciences. Betsy is passionate about supporting youth and the mission of Silver Lining Mentoring and is excited to build long-lasting connections in a new city. Outside of work Betsy can be found singing or playing cello across town – or playing piano at home.
Olaniyi Ogunbodede goes by Ola. He enjoys being around and learning about people from different backgrounds. He is passionate about educating and helping people who have had difficult life experiences and those who need help setting and achieving goals. He has experience in youth mentoring and teaching in various settings for youth development such as City on a Hill Charter Public School, where he served as a math teacher, and Balfour Academy where he was an Instructional Assistant and Mentor. In addition, he has over six years in customer services (mostly, if not all, in food service). He graduated from Syracuse University with a B.S. in Child and Family Studies with a focus on Youth and Family Development.
Outside of work, he enjoys “discovering” different playgrounds with his kids. He enjoys going to the movies and the occasional run. A goal of his is to read at least one book a month…we’ll see how it goes.
Michael joined SLM in September 2020 with a background in education and youth development. Originally from Pittsburgh, he has worked in Vermont, Massachusetts, and Pennsylvania within college student development and advising. Additionally, Michael has also worked as a Program Coordinator for two mentoring agencies: Outdoor Odyssey and Big Brothers Big Sisters of Eastern Massachusetts. He graduated in 2012 from Washington & Jefferson College with a BA in Sociology & Gender Studies, and received a Masters of Education from Northeastern University in 2014. Michael has extensive experience promoting LGBTQI+ and Accessibility awareness, social-emotional learning, and increasing community engagement/volunteerism.
Outside of work, Michael spends a lot of time at home with his large dog and 3 cats. His hobbies are gardening and house plants, woodworking, and recently learning how to tattoo.
Jim joined Silver Lining Mentoring in April 2020. With 15 years of development experience in the arts and higher education, Jim is thrilled to put to work his creativity and strategic thinking to help SLM serve young people impacted by the foster care system. Jim partners with donors to help them make an impact on the world. He’s served organizations large and small, most recently as Director of Development at Global Arts Live. Prior to that he was Director of the Berklee Fund at Berklee College of Music. With a curiosity for people and ideas, Jim forges connections that make the organization and donors stronger together. Jim is inspired by the vision, mission, and values of Silver Lining Mentoring and excited to work with such a talented and dedicated team.
When not working to bring donors closer to SLM, Jim can be found hiking, biking, playing music with friends, or working on his jump shot.
Having worked in child welfare for many years, Alaina has always been passionate about ensuring every child has what they need to thrive. From the first moment she learned about Silver Lining Mentoring’s mission, Alaina was excited to be a part of an innovative approach to providing youth in care with consistent positive relationships. Since joining Silver Lining Mentoring in 2010, Alaina has brought experience in issues of homelessness, adult education and individual and family therapy to children and adults who’ve experienced trauma. Alaina completed her Masters in Social Work in 2012 and went on to be an SLM Program Coordinator, Program Supervisor, and served as SLM’s Director of Programs for five years, overseeing SLM’s programs to provide high quality mentoring, resource brokering, and clinical support to youth in foster care. In 2018 Alaina gained a certificate in Nonprofit Management and Leadership from Tufts University, in partnership with the Institute of Nonprofit Management and in 2019 transitioned to the role of Deputy Director, working in collaboration with the Chief Executive Officer to enhance the internal infrastructure necessary for SLM’s continued success and strategic growth. Alaina feels grateful every day for the opportunity to engage with such resilient and strong young people and their incredibly dedicated mentors.
Sally joined Silver Lining Mentoring in July 2020 as a Program Coordinator. Sally is dedicated to relationship-building and community development, as demonstrated by her work in mental health promotion and prevention. Sally has experience providing psychiatric rehabilitation case management to persons carrying severe, persistent mental health diagnoses. At the Turn 2 Us program, she facilitated weekly mentorship groups and provided social-emotional support for middle school students. She also provided informal counseling to international graduate students and planned events at International House NYC. She is excited to bring these diverse experiences to her role at SLM!
Outside of work, Sally enjoys traveling, reading, playing video games, and spending time with her nieces and nephews.
Sally received her Masters degree in Social Work from Columbia University and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology and International Studies from Boston College.