The Second Step family includes our dedicated staff, generous supporters, tireless volunteers, and the many brave families who make their way out of violence to build new lives.
We are a team of advocates, educators, and youth workers. We are clinicians, development professionals, and administrators. We are attorneys, paraprofessionals, and academics. But above all else, we are dedicated to providing survivors of DV with the supports and concrete services necessary to achieve lasting safety, stability, and well-being.
Our Residential Programs ensure safe and secure housing and comprehensive services for the 58 survivors who live in our two residences. Staff include residential advocates, therapeutic after-school teachers, facilitates managers, and program director Ashley Shoares.
Our Community Programs work with survivors throughout our community, regardless of whether they are currently in danger or are years away from the abuse. We serve approximately 300 adults and 500 children each year through these programs, whose staff include our community advocates, a manager of trauma-informed care, volunteer mentors, clinical interns, and program director Carole Thompson.
Our Youth and Prevention Programs work with youth survivors of domestic violence across all of our other programs, as well as with young people in the community to prevent future relationship violence. Staff include our youth programs facilitators, mentors, therapeutic after-school teachers, and program director Matthew Swoveland.
Steps to Justice provides free legal services to survivors of domestic violence, regardless of the complexity of their needs. When we are not able to provide specific services in-house, we collaborate closely with a strong network of legal service agencies and private pro-bono attorneys. Our staff include full-time attorneys as well as volunteer pro-bono attorneys, led by program director Susan Ross.
Matthew is privileged to lead a talented and dynamic team dedicated to bringing innovative new programming to children and adults who have experienced sexual and domestic violence, helping to build their resiliency and to create bright futures for themselves and their families. He brings experience in trauma- and resilience-informed approaches to education, work with high-risk gang and street-involved youth, and sexual and domestic violence counseling, as well as grant-writing, fundraising, and strategic leadership skills.
Meghan began her career at The Second Step following her internship with the Lasell College Internship Program in 2010. She has extensive experience working with traumatized populations including adult and adolescent survivors of domestic violence. During her years as a Residential Advocate, Meghan worked collaboratively with youth and adult survivors to address the trauma that impacted their lives. Today, as Director of Residential Programs, Meghan oversees the Residential Program staff as they provide comprehensive trauma-informed advocacy with families in our Transitional Housing program.
Carole has been with The Second Step since 1999. She holds an MS in Counseling Psychology, with a focus on college student development, from Northeastern University, a Certificate in Trauma Stress Studies from HRI (the Trauma Center), and has completed the life coach curriculum through The Coaches Training Institute. Prior to her work in the field of domestic violence, she served as Associate Dean for Student Life at Pine Manor College.
With over 15 years of experience as a lawyer, counselor, and advocate, Sue oversees the Steps to Justice legal services program. Along with our staff attorney and a group of talented, dedicated pro bono attorneys, she provides direct representation and consultation to our clients facing a wide range of legal issues, including restraining orders, divorce, custody, immigration, and housing matters.
Kaitlyn comes to her role after work both as a Housing Advocate for homeless families that have experienced domestic violence, and as a Youth Advocate focused on securing safe, stable housing for homeless adolescents and youth who have experience multiple and complex traumas. Kaitlyn’s team serves youth survivors ages 0 to 25, through programs including Therapeutic Afterschool, teen supportive groups, wilderness and adventure education, and resilience-based fitness and boxing.