A Letter To Our Community

Dear Enroot Community,

We write to share with you that Enroot’s Board of Directors has made the difficult decision to sell the building we own at 99 Bishop Allen Drive in Cambridge. After many months of consultation, discussion and deliberation, we determined this change was essential to enable Enroot to continue delivering on its mission, “To empower immigrant youth to achieve academic, career, and personal success through inspiring out-of-school time experiences.” We feel a moral imperative to address the growing need among immigrant youth and their families in our communities, particularly in our current political and economic climate.

Our building is now more than 100 years old, and the increasing costs of maintenance and operation have constrained our organization’s ability to focus on our primary mission. Our paramount responsibility is to ensure we can sustainably pursue our mission and to serve more students.

Enroot remains as committed as ever to advancing equity through its support of immigrant students in Cambridge and Somerville, and will continue to grow the number of students we serve in both communities. We’re proud that nearly all of our students complete high school and our alumni go on to complete college at nearly triple the rate of comparable students. Over the last 25 years, with broad community support, and in close partnership with the Cambridge Public Schools and City of Cambridge, we’ve expanded the number of students we serve from 20 to nearly 200 today. Our 10-year vision for the future is to serve 1200 students in the surrounding area. The sale of our building supports our ability to meet the expanding needs of the immigrant community.

As a small non-profit, we deeply value the work of our fellow nonprofits in the building, many of whom have shared this space for years. Their continued success is essential to our community. We recognize the challenge they will face to secure a space that meets their organizational needs, and carefully considered this during our decision-making.

As we initiate the process to explore this sale we will work diligently to ensure the transition minimizes disruption for our students and those who occupy space in the building, as well as the wider community. While many details lie ahead, we are actively engaged in ongoing communications with neighboring nonprofits and do not plan to initiate a sale before 2019.

We are confident that by re-focusing our energies, we will be better equipped to respond to the growing needs of the immigrant student population.

We welcome questions and concerns from the community. Please direct communication to Executive Director Ben Clark, bclark@enrooteducation.org.

With appreciation,

Enroot Board of Directors

The State of Latino Education in Somerville

On October 10th, students, staff, and community members participated in a town hall on the State of Latino Education in Somerville with Jeff Riley, the Massachusetts Commissioner of the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. Somerville students asked critical questions about the state of education for immigrants and Latino students, ranging from the high cost of college for students without documentation in Massachusetts to creating a more inclusive curriculum showcasing diverse and representative writers and historical figures.

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Riley was asked by parents and teachers to address the disparity in MCAS scores for Latino, English Language Learners, and black students. He responded that while Massachusetts ranks number one in education in the United States for some students, it is not effectively serving all students and that Massachusetts has some of the largest achievement gaps. Riley described his work in Lawrence and his plans to address disparities at the state level through partnerships with communities and families. Somerville Superintendent Mary Skipper included Enroot as one of the partners she looked forward to working with in ensuring more English language learners were admitted to honors and advanced placement courses. The town hall structure provided an opportunity for Enroot students to ask questions and engage with the education system.

Thank you to Latinos for Education and Somerville Public Schools for putting the event together. We appreciate the leadership of Commissioner Jeff Riley and Superintendent Mary Skipper as they look to make education more equitable for all.

 Enroot staff and students pictured with Somerville Mayor Curtatone before the Town Hall.

Enroot staff and students pictured with Somerville Mayor Curtatone before the Town Hall.

The Immigrant Experience: Learning Through Art and Community Voice

Enroot is honored to participate in Cambridge Community Foundation's event. Learn more about the immigrant experience through poetry and stories of those living in our community today, featuring Enroot’s students. We hope you can join us on Monday, September 26th, 5:30 PM at Harvard Yard.

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"If a society permits one portion of its citizenry to be menaced or destroyed, then, very soon, no one in that society is safe." — James Baldwin

We have seen the inhumane and unjust treatment of immigrant families and children in our country and our communities, but what is the effect on the human being? Learn more about the immigrant experience through poetry and stories of those living in our community today at this innovative Cambridge Community Foundation experience. Standing beside Teresita Fernández's Harvard public art project, Autumn (...Nothing Personal), we will learn about how this work was inspired by James Baldwin's 1964 essay, Nothing Personal, published at the height of the civil rights movement. Local poets, storytellers, students, and dancers will personalize and bring to life the themes of disconnection, injustice and divisiveness in America, as well as the hope that love, light and trust can bring. We hope you can join us for this unique experience.

Special thanks to the Harvard University Committee on the Arts for this community platform.

September 2018 Newsletter

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Dear Enroot Family, 

Last night marked a momentous occasion in the history of this state and an important step toward equity for our country. We watched as Ayanna Pressley beat the odds and surprised the naysayers, becoming the first African American woman elected to represent Massachusetts in Congress. The humility and authenticity with which she ran her campaign compelled voters to come out in record numbers and cast their ballots in support of her vision. 

Understanding the needs of constituents who she has often described as being "closest to the pain," and giving a voice to many who for so long have felt unheard allowed her to overcome incredible odds to win the race. In her acceptance speech last night she said, “It seems like change is on the way. We have together ushered in something incredible. People who feel seen and heard for the first time in their lives, a stakeholder in democracy and a promise for our future. That is the real victory, that is bigger than any electoral victory. And I want to thank you all for being foot soldiers in this movement and for ushering in this change.”

It's powerful for Enroot students to know they are being represented, locally and in Washington, by elected officials who share essential aspects of their identity and lived experience. It's also incredibly inspiring for them to see a leader like Ayanna continue to challenge racial and gender barriers and prove that they can be overcome. Her courageous candidacy and underdog victory embody our country at its best and will no doubt give Enroot students renewed confidence in this country and their place in it.

I'm thankful for her courageous leadership and hopeful that continued progress is coming for our communities.

Ben Clark
Executive Director 

Launching the College Success Program
A week before students headed off to college, we hosted our first night of College Success programming. Students and mentors met over ice cream to talk about students' college goals and everyone enjoyed the familiarity of the Enroot office before embarking on their college journey.

Enroot's College Success program is designed to support students in their first two years of post-secondary education through mentoring, one-to-one coaching, and support navigating the higher education system. Happy first week of classes to our College Success students!
Mass Mentoring Partnership Awards Grant
Enroot was awarded $10,000 as part of Mass Mentoring Partnership's investment of $750,000 to support quality mentoring throughout Massachusetts. This support will enable Enroot to serve 150 students in Cambridge and Somerville and provide more college access support. Read the full press release here.
Meet the new team
As we grow to serve 175 students this school year we have also grown our team. This summer we welcomed a new Program Director, two Program Managers, and three AmeriCorps members. Meet Teresa, GeorgiaPaola, Tamia, Sophie, and Katie. We are thrilled to have them join our team and excited to leverage their experience in enriching our programming. Please join us in welcoming them. 
Get Involved: Volunteer with Enroot
We are privileged to be doing this incredibly important work at this time in our nation's history. We are actively recruiting new volunteers for the upcoming school year. If you (or someone you know) are ready to be a part of this movement, please fill out an application today and we will contact you about attending a volunteer orientation.
Fill out our Volunteeer Application
Enroot is a nonprofit dedicated to empowering immigrant youth to achieve academic, career, and personal success through inspiring out-of-school experiences.