WE CAN Staff
Our small, dedicated staff works closely as a team to support WE CAN participants. We have three part time staff: Mary Jaynes, Program Director, oversees all mentoring programs and conducts "Options" intakes; Kara Kennedy Duff, Administrative & Program Coordinator, is the initial WE CAN contact; she coordinates our legal programs and serves as registrar for all workshops and training programs; Stephanie Boosahda, Data & Technology Coordinator, manages the WE CAN database; coordinates the website and social marketing applications. Andrea (Andi) Genser, full time Executive Director, works closely with the WE CAN Board, serves as chief development officer, supervises staff and oversees all program operations. Each staff member also oversees the efforts of key volunteers that are essential to carry out WE CAN programs.
Administrative and Program Coordinator
Kara Kennedy Duff
Kara is the Administrative and Program Coordinator at WE CAN. She is often the familiar voice on the line that answers the phone “WE CAN, How can I help you?” At WE CAN her job tasks are varied. Kara is largely in charge of the legal services program, which includes scheduling and coordinating legal clinics. She also handles the computer classes. Kara loves WE CAN and is so happy to come to work every day. She has a unique perspective on the organization as prior to working here she was a client. Kara credits her time in the Pathmakers mentoring program as the turning point in her life— going from surviving to flourishing.
Kara holds an Associate in Arts degree from Cape Cod Community College and counts her life experience of being a former single parent as invaluable. During that time Kara became familiar with many of the available resources on Cape Cod which she now tells others about. She is both an accomplished public speaker and published writer.
Kara lives in Brewster with her husband, and 2 boys, along with their sizable grey cat, Elise, rescue mutts, Rocky and Trixie, and a big house rabbit with a personality to match named Milkshake, affectionately known as Milkie.
Data and Technology Coordinator
Stephanie Boosahda is the Data & Technology Coordinator at WE CAN. Born in central MA, she moved to Cape Cod from western PA in the 1980’s and has now been a year ‘round resident of Cape Cod for over 25 years. She was graduated from Springfield College with a BA in English, social sciences, and education; she earned her Masters’ Degree from Lesley University. Ms. Boosahda is also the published author-editor of Inklings from Cape Cod, a recipient of the iUniverse Editors’ Choice Award book, and she has a large portfolio of published photo-journalism and professional articles.
Among her most rewarding professional experiences she lists leading several educational travel groups abroad, a start-up program she initiated at the New Hampshire Children’s Museum that still exists today, the publishing of her recent book, helping her students earn several writing awards and scholarships, and mostly making a difference in the lives of individuals - as a teacher, as a nurse, and as a member of Cape community - and a variety of volunteer work endeavors. As a single mother of three, now grandmother of four, Stephanie spent several decades of her 30+ years in education teaching on Cape Cod. In doing so, Ms. Boosahda won several teaching awards including New England League of Middle Schools Master-in-the-Middle Teacher of the Year. And -as a single mom- she also spent 20 simultaneous years writing for Cape newspapers, nursing in Cape Cod nursing homes, and as a private duty / homecare nurse. Working with Cape families is in her blood.
Stephanie’s enthusiasm for WE CAN comes from her personal and professional background as well as her months of volunteering here; she brings a unique passion and creativity as well as experience to her Data & Technology Coordinator position. She resides in South Yarmouth where she enjoys the seasonal changing fabric of the Cape and her hobbies: kayaking & biking [especially on Cape], photography, writing, skiing, digital scrapbooking, reading [especially with reading groups], traveling, activities with her grandkids, and exploring new computer applications. Stephanie is thrilled to be a part of the WE CAN team and enjoys interacting with the variety of growing members of our community.
Andi Genser was born and raised on the south shore of Long Island, New York. She lived in the Chicago area between 1969-1976 to attend Northwestern University and teach elementary school in Winnetka, Illinois. Andi moved to the Boston area in 1976 to study at the Wheelock College Graduate School where she also served as a graduate assistant supervising student teachers; she received her Master’s degree in Educational Leadership.
Supervising student teachers in child care programs, excited Andi and she began to consider working in the child care field as a career choice. She held a number of roles in the field that increased in responsibility and scope. Initially she became the Executive Director of a stand-alone child care program, then moved on to work on an action research initiative at the Wellesley College Centers for Women (School Age Child Care Project) which led to her becoming the Executive Director of the state’s largest and oldest Child Care Resource and Referral Agency. Other positions included creating and running a statewide early childhood training program based at Wheelock College as well as creating and teaching graduate courses in Financial Management for Child Care Programs and Child Care Resource and Referral.
Perhaps most rewarding in Andi’s career were the multiple opportunities that have allowed her to work with others to start new organizations or projects. She served as co-founder (and continues to serve as a Board member) of the Wheelock Family Theater, operating for more than 30 years; she began a national Institute for Leadership and Career Initiatives that conducted research and technical assistance in the child care field nationally; she organized a statewide charity cycling event at the AIDS Action Committee and most recently, also at AIDS Action, she managed and helped to create BE SAFE—a collaborative youth initiative that involved 6 partners working across the interconnected issues of sexual and mental health; sexual violence and substance use. Andi learned a tremendous amount from each of these efforts that she now brings to her role at WE CAN. She began serving as the Executive Director in March, 2010 after relocating to the Cape in 2008. Andi feels that being at WE CAN allows her to make a difference in the Cape community and she is inspired daily by the women she meets. When not working, Andi loves cycling and is a member of the organizing committee of the Harbor to the Bay AIDS ride and the Brewster Bikeways Committee and is an avid photographer of the amazing cape landscape. She is especially pleased with her role as grandmother of Alivia.
Mary Jaynes moved to Cape Cod in 2006 from Hudson, MA where she had a private practice in Mental Health Counseling. Prior to setting up her private practice, Mary worked for Wayside Youth and Family Support Network as a home-based family clinician, working with families who were experiencing instability and who were challenged with a number of difficult life circumstances. In her work she helped these families to access resources in the community and to develop and utilize strategies to improve and strengthen their families and their level of functioning.
Mary accepted the position at WE CAN as Program Director in September, 2009. As Program Director she assists clients to sort out their often-complex life situations and to identify and access resources within the community and utilize the many opportunities that WE CAN offers to help them move forward. This conversation, in itself, often gives them a sense of relief and allows for some clarity. Clients are then able to make life decisions using clear judgment.
Mary brings years of both personal as well as professional experience to this role. She is the mother of three adult children, one of whom is profoundly deaf and is challenged with major mental illness. In raising her family, she, along with her husband, found it necessary to locate and avail herself of a number of resources to insure that her family was not overwhelmed by her son’s difficulties. This life experience gives Mary a unique perspective in being able to relate to the women she sees without judgment, to be creative in finding resources, utilizing programs and developing strategies to affect change, and to offer hope for the future.