Meet Enroot's Summer Interns

Meet Enroot's summer interns! They will be supporting Enroot on a variety of projects this summer: from volunteer recruitment and marketing to curriculum development. We are so excited to have them join our team.


Daniela Pozos Nicolau is joining the Enroot team as a Summer Intern through the Tisch Summer Fellows program. Born in Mexico, Daniela is a rising sophomore at Tufts University planning on majoring in Psychology and Education. 

Mirella Greenberg is excited to join the Enroot team as a summer intern through her second year with the Forest Foundation. She is a rising senior at Macalester College, and is majoring in Psychology with a minor in Educational Studies and a concentration in Human Rights and Humanitarianism.

She grew up in Cambridge and attended Cambridge Public Schools her entire life, graduating from the Cambridge Rindge and Latin School in 2015. She is looking forward to interacting with the Rindge community from a different perspective this summer.


Sofia Phay is joining the Enroot team for the summer of 2018. She is a rising senior at Williams College in Western Massachusetts, majoring in Psychology. Sofia grew up right outside of New York City, and is excited to be in the Boston area this summer! 

Starting Small and Making it Big, A Memoir by Bill Cummings

As a recipient of a $100K for 100 grant from Cummings Foundation, Enroot has benefited not only from substantial financial resources but also from the publicity and enhanced standing that comes with Cummings Foundation's support. This grant for $100,000 confirms for potential donors and volunteers that we are making a positive impact in the local community.

Knowing that all proceeds from Bill Cummings' new memoir, "Starting Small and Making It Big," go to Cummings Foundation, we could not be more proud to recommend this book. By purchasing "Starting Small," for yourself or as a gift, you are actually giving back in a charitable way -- and you will likely be inspired by what you read.

We are pleased to share a book review below. More information about Starting Small is available online.

An Entrepreneur's Journey to Billion-Dollar Philanthropist
Review by Heather Lauten, Esq.
Today's corporate temperament prizes decisions made on the basis of a simple opportunistic edict: do what will produce the greatest revenue while consuming the fewest resources. There's nothing wrong with that thinking, per se, but there's a vital piece missing from those broad strokes: doing what's right.
This value system (not to mention our current political discourse) has clouded the confluence between opportunity and opportunism, promoting thinking in which the latter is the province of the prosperous and the former describes a concept that people feel has escaped them. What remains is a society in which too many believe they're helpless to effect change, compelling children to march for their lives in Washington in the face of public apathy, and allowing the civic void to be filled by those who mask intolerance and ignorance by calling it innovation.
In his new memoir, "Starting Small and Making It Big: An Entrepreneur's Journey to Billion-Dollar Philanthropist," Bill Cummings offers a welcome rejoinder to this diminished thinking, showing us not only that hard work and diligence can lead to success but also that success can foment fundamental justice and genuine structural change along the way. 
When Cummings first went into business for himself, negotiating a good deal to purchase a hundred-year-old beverage enterprise in 1964, his dad gave him some advice about opportunity that stuck with him: "The most important thing about being lucky," he said, "is recognizing good luck when it comes along, and then taking advantage of it. Life is mostly what we make of the opportunities that come our way." 
"Starting Small" details Cummings' story of how, with a practical sensibility and belief in himself and others, along with an eye for making his own luck, he worked his way from conventional working-class beginnings to founding a real estate company with a portfolio of more than 11 million square feet of debt-free space in his totally unleveraged style.
What makes Cummings' self-made-man narrative unique, and worthy of attention, though, is the rest of the story. With the kind of detailed guidance that budding entrepreneurs will earmark for reference, and the charming conversational tone of a man who enjoys telling a tale, Cummings' book describes not only the life he and his wife, Joyce, have created by making the most of the opportunities that have come their way, but also how they have become philanthropists on a scale few accomplish, having already given more than a billion dollars to charitable causes.
Members of the Giving Pledge, established by Warren Buffett and Bill and Melinda Gates, Cummings attributes his and Joyce's extraordinary dedication to giving back to their community-to institutions large and, mostly, small-to what he describes as their "belief in the goodness of all humanity."
That strong-held belief, Cummings illustrates from the beginning of "Starting Small," comes from his and Joyce's strong family backgrounds, and life-long association with like-minded people who shared their values and supported their endeavors, but it's also clear that Cummings genuinely likes people and has the gift to recognize their best qualities. 
"At Cummings Properties, one of our major goals is to find out what good employees do best and then keep them busy doing it," Cummings writes. In "Starting Small," Cummings paints convivial portraits of his colleagues, many of whom have long tenures with his company, the average length of service for the 360-person firm being more than 11 years.
On the occasion of one colleague's 40th anniversary of service with the company, Cummings describes how equipment operator George Holland received not only an engraved rocking chair celebrating the milestone, but was shocked to be handed the keys to the company's first brand-new backhoe, which had his name painted prominently on the door.
Other stories are tender, and at the heart of the book is a tragedy, when Cummings' protégé, 41-year-old Jamie McKeown, was stricken by a fatal heart attack. Cummings' account of his more than 17 years spent mentoring Jamie, and his profound pleasure in having cultivated a person who cared as much about improving his community as he did about growing a company, explains how the loss served as a sort of turning point for Cummings' altruistic views.
In describing Jamie at his funeral service, Cummings said "no man I have ever met cared more about doing the right thing," and that Jamie "led by example." Cummings writes, "Although Joyce and I had formed Cummings Foundation 10 years before Jamie died, his death was a stark reminder to me that if she and I were to do meaningful good things, together with the foundation, we really needed to get started."
Doing the right thing, leading by example, and incorporating charitable giving into every aspect of his immensely successful business is how Bill Cummings has honored Jamie and others who have impacted his and Joyce's thinking, some on a grand scale, and many, many others on a small, local level. In some ways, "Starting Small" is a textbook on how-and why-to give, as individuals, and, importantly, as an integral part of the corporate culture.
A single paperback can be purchased online via and for $16.95. Options for discounted bulk purchases - three paperbacks for $40 or a case of 26 books for $300 - can be found at All books are shipped free of charge. Many readers have raved about the book for use as graduation gifts.
Ms. Lauten, an attorney, is a member of the Cummings Properties team.

Cambridge Celebrates 2018

Thanks to all who joined us at Google for the 2018 Cambridge Celebration! We had an awesome time celebrating with students and families, and appreciating their hard work during the school year.  Special thanks to our students, alumni, and community members who contributed to the touching speeches and fantastic dances that made the evening so much fun. 

Thank you to all of our sponsors, Biogen, William Blair, John Moriarty & Associates, Rockland Trust, and MIT.

For more pictures check us out on Facebook. Enroot Cambridge Celebrates 2018!

Somerville Celebrates 2018

Thank you for joining us at the Center for Arts at the Armory to celebrate the Enroot students at Somerville! It was a great event to celebrate our students and their hard work throughout the school year. A big shout out to our student MCs and student speakers for their inspiring and thoughtful reflections. It was a fantastic close to a great year in Somerville! 


We also want to thank our generous sponsor, Eastern Bank.


For more pictures check us out on Facebook. Enroot Somerville Celebrates 2018!

Where will your donations go?

This year marks the third annual Volunteer Giving Campaign. Last year, Enroot raised over $8,000 through volunteers' individual and referred donations. These volunteer donations have been crucial to keeping our program going strong and securing funding from major donors. All Enroot donations are tax deductible. 

Enroot funding comes from a variety of sources: local foundations, generous philanthropists, and community-minded businesses. 

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With a strong, well-managed endowment as well as a building in Central Square that's rented out at favorable rates to local non-profits, Enroot spends every dollar of support directly on our students.

Field Trip to CHA with Enroot Somerville

By: Adnan, Enroot Student

On February 8, we went to Cambridge Hospital Alliance in Somerville. I went to Cambridge Hospital Alliance in Somerville with the Enroot somerville high school students. It was a great experience exploring the CHA with the students. Students looked engaged when the guide was explaining the different type of section in the hospital. We also went in the laboratory, where blood and urine and different types of test has been done for informational purposes. We also went through an elevator which was used as a passage to other building.


One of my question to the health care professional was, “How does IT (information technology) impact this surgeons?”. One of the surgeon answered that IT plays an important role in the hospitals for uses of machineries and computer software which helps the surgeons get information. The fun fact which came across was that there were about 800 interpreter in CHA and their hourly rate is about 20-25$. About 50% of the interpreter works half time and the rest the full time. 42% of the patients that visit the CHA are immigrants and needs an interpreter. The student were asking various type of question, which showed that the students were really engaged and enjoyed learning about the CHA somerville hospital.

Enroot Somerville Meets the Mayor

By: Oumaima, Enroot Student

My name is Oumaima. I’m in 11 grade. I’m from Morocco. For Enroot we have 3 parts, Seminar, mentor and tutor, But I like the seminar because we visit a lot of places like last Thursday, we went to the City Hall to visit mayor, it was very good because I have never seen the Mayor of my country. I learn a lot of things from Enroot with my tutor, my mentor and seminar. In seminar we play games, we talk about colleges. For my tutor, she helped me with my homework. For seminar. We hang out together sometimes. Something that I like to learn more is practice more English and get my grades up. I like this program because they helped me a lot.



Afiya's Story

I’ve learned English, I’ve learned how to make new friends, I’ve learned that no matter how hard something is do not give up until you achieve it.
— Afiya, Enroot Cambridge

I’m a 16 year old, I am a junior in high school and I want to major in Pre-med after high school. After 4 years of college, I want to work in a hospital as a registered nurse  and go to school to get my Bachelor's degree and then to medical school to become a doctor. I moved to United States 4 and half years ago with my dad, mom and my brother. My first day of school in united states was confusing because even though I learned English in India, I was not very good at it. I wanted to make new friends but all I was thinking on my way there was how am I going to talk to others? I was scared that I didn’t know anyone at the school but I was also excited that I was going to a new school. I was an ESL [English as a Second Language] student for 3 years, over those 3 years I’ve learned a lot. I’ve learned English, I’ve learned how to make new friends, I’ve learned that no matter how hard something is do not give up until you achieve it. In those 3 years I was accepted into City Links Program, now Enroot. I took the opportunity to be in the program. Then I joined Enroot again my junior year and I have an internship in Enroot, I work with amazing staff. I am grateful to be a student. I was switched to a mainstreamed English class my sophomore year where I was scared at first, I was in a class full of people who spoke English fluently. Everything that I learned in ESL class made it so much easier for me to understand things in the mainstreamed English class. Now I am in 11th grade, can speak English well, and I am more confident in myself.

Spotlight on Somerville: Student Internships

 Enroot Somerville students meeting with their mentors.

Enroot Somerville students meeting with their mentors.

My name is Sarah. I am in the 11th grade, I am from Brazil. I had an interview at Somerville Community Schools Program organization, with Jennie. Before the interview I felt nervous and anxious, but in the middle the conversation I got more comfortable, and the interview went well. In the room had more for students with me and 2 supervisors, we answer the questions together and I felt more easy, and another reason for my feeling comfortable was we practiced the questions in the Enroot program before the interview. They asked me what I want to improve and my answer was I want to improve and learn more about work with children, do some different activities, meet more different people, because my experience was with my relatives, like my cousins, siblings, and I want to improve my English.

We had a great experience with our intern and we’re happy we were able to provide a learning environment for an Enroot student and look forward to the possibility of hosting in the future!
— Former Internship Supervisor


I am in 9th grade at Somerville High School, and I am from Brazil. I go to Somerville City Hall for my internship after school. I create tables on Excel, and enter required data. I organize files and folders in the office. I also highlight required data that I am asked for. I learned how to access and work with excel. I have learned how to keep myself organized. I interact with people at work, and I feel confident to talk to new people now. I would like to learn what is the data they give me to work with. Thanks Enroot for the opportunity to intern at City Hall.

Nice program, I would say it helps the supervisor as much as the intern.
— Former Internship Supervisor

Thank you to our internship partners! 

Returning Partners
City of Somerville - Council on Aging
City of Somerville - SomerViva
City of Somerville - Treasurer/Collector
Mystic Learning Center (MLC) 
Somerville Media Center (SCATV)

New Partners
City of Somerville - City Clerk
City of Somerville - Planning and Zoning
City of Somerville - Shape Up Somerville
Somerville Community Schools
Somerville Family Learning Collaborative (SFLC) Playgroups
Kennedy Pool
Little Sisters of the Poor
Parenting Journey
Parkour Generations


Enroot's Mentors and Tutors

This year, Enroot's incredible force of 175 mentors and tutors will work with out students 1:1 each week. Mentors provide support in applying to college, setting goals, and navigating a new community. Tutors provide academic coaching to students in subjects ranging from English to AP Physics. 

Fun facts about this years mentors:

  • Our volunteers speak 17 different languages
  • Volunteers have lived in 38 different countries
  • Enroot volunteers work in a diverse range of professional fields, from healthcare to education
  • 75% of our volunteers live and/or work in Cambridge or Somerville

Mentors and Tutors Professional Fields

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Our work would not be possible without the time our volunteers generously give each week and we could not be more grateful for their dedication and support- thank you Enroot volunteers!