Enroot alumnus Jean emigrated from Haiti in 2005 half way through the school year at the request of his father, who was eager for him to access a better education. When he arrived he spoke almost no English and lived with his aunt, who did not speak any Creole or French. This made communication with his official guardian extremely limited.
Jean also had major challenges transitioning to his new school, since he did not know any other students and had such limited English. For the first few months instead of going to the cafeteria for lunch, he wandered the halls and sat on a bench out of site.
Jean was welcomed into the Enroot program a few months after arriving and participated for 2 and half years and graduated in 2008. As part of his Enroot experience, Jean worked as an intern at the Cambridge Finance Department for two years in Cambridge City Hall, helping residents over the phone and in person with information about taxes and water bills. Excited about a career in this area, he attended the University of Massachusetts at Boston and earned a Bachelor’s degree in Finance. During college, he was able to use the connections he made and skills he developed as an Enroot student to obtain a part-time position in the Finance Department in the City of Cambridge. After graduating he was hired full-time in their Auditing Department. Last year Jean was proud to be awarded "2017 Outstanding City Employee of the Year" by Cambridge City Manager Louis D. Pasquale, who had helped supervise Jean years ago as an Enroot intern.
Jean credits Enroot for his understanding of how to work in an office and how to be a professional. He also said his mentor was pivotal in this phase of life, as an adult he worked closely with over 2.5 years and who helped him navigate key parts of the post-secondary process, like the college essay and selection process.