Forum looking at "Lives in Limbo"

Please join Enroot for a conversation looking at "Lives in Limbo" by Professor Roberto Gonzales with insight from a local reporter.

Monday, November 13, 2017 at 6:30 PM

The Massachusetts' immigrant community is facing increasing threats. Please join Enroot to hear about how the climate has changed and what we can do to better support our immigrant students and their families. We'll hear from Professor Roberto Gonzales of Harvard Graduate School of Education, author of "Lives in Limbo: Undocumented and Coming of Age in America," as well as a local reporter covering immigration policy.

As our communities are raided by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) during Operation "Safe City" targeting sanctuary cities, DACA protections are rescinded for Dreamers, and there are threats to withhold renewals for Haitian and Central American immigrants protected under special visas, this is a troubling time for the immigrant community and organizations like Enroot that support students and their families. Let's explore together how to stand with our immigrant community.

Event generously hosted by RoAnn Costin in Cambridge, MA.

Please note: space will be extremely limited at this event. We will do our best to accommodate requests and encourage guests to get tickets early.

Our Speakers

Roberto Gonzales
Professor, Harvard Graduate School of Education

Roberto G. Gonzales’ research centers on contemporary processes of immigration and social inequality, and stems from theoretical interests at the intersection of race and ethnicity, immigration, and policy. In particular, his research examines the effects of legal contexts on the coming of age experiences of vulnerable and hard-to-reach immigrant youth populations. Since 2002 he has carried out one of the most comprehensive studies of undocumented immigrants in the United States. His most recent book is Lives in Limbo: Undocumented and Coming of Age in America.


Moderated by Ben Clark
Executive Director, Enroot

Ben joined Enroot as Executive Director four years ago after spending most of his career working in international development. Most recently, as Director of Organizational Development for Teach For All, he collaborated closely with the leadership of Teach For All network programs in the Middle East, Asia, and Europe to build high performing, sustainable organizations and set solid foundations for scaling. Ben holds undergraduate degrees in International Relations and Sociology from Principia College and a Master’s in Public Policy from Harvard Kennedy School.


Enroot selected by SVP Boston

Note from the Executive Director:

Dear Friends of Enroot:

I am honored and excited to announce that after a rigorous vetting process, Enroot has been selected as the newest grantee for Social Venture Partners Boston

Enroot was awarded a major three-year investment by Social Venture Partners (SVP) Boston, including $100,000 in unrestricted funds and access to a pool of highly skilled business professionals to help us build capacity. 

SVP Boston chooses worthy nonprofits in which to invest financial and volunteer help from a network of highly skilled business professionals. Social Venture Partners Boston operates like a venture capital model for local early-stage nonprofits. It gives its Partners—or volunteers—the opportunity to invest their time, money, and expertise in innovative nonprofits that have the potential to make meaningful and sustainable improvements in the community.

As we enter this next chapter of Enroot's evolution, we are following in the footsteps of many impressive area nonprofits in the SVP Boston portfolio. We feel incredibly humbled to have been given this opportunity and excited about all that we'll accomplish together in the coming three years!

Please don't hesitate to be in touch with any questions. I look forward to providing updates throughout the grant process with Social Venture Partners Boston.

Ben Clark, Executive Director

Student Reflection: Mentoring in Somerville

My name is Manuel, I am a freshman in Somerville High School.  I originated from the Dominican Republic, a country southeast of Florida. My Mentor and I work on assignments, play games and go out to restaurants. We went to Redbones Barbecue in Davis Sq. The Food and design of the restaurant was Southern American style. We ordered Beignets, long and skinny french fries, and pork sandwich. The food was marvelous and the service too!!!!!

I like it went my mentor helps me with my daily assignments but enjoy it more when we do fun stuff that does not include HOMEWORK. It was great to spend time with my mentor in a different way. We got to know each other as friends instead of student and mentor and we had a fun time together.

I never had this kind of food before. Beignets - are fried dough with powdered sugar and  they were FANTASTIC.

I want to learn about the food, culture and were they first originated. I like to learn more about Beignets and other food like Indian, Chinese, Russian, British, French, and  Italian.

It’s good to spent time with someone else that you are having a relationship.

Volunteer Profile: Lauren Fragoza

Lauren works as a Product Manager and volunteers as a Cambridge Mentor

I've been volunteering with Enroot for almost two years, and I've been mentoring the same student in the Leadership program throughout that time. I've really enjoyed getting to know my mentee, and we've done a lot of activities together around Boston. I love hearing about what my mentee does every week and answering her questions. It's really rewarding to see all the things she's been able to accomplish or get to experience through Enroot and through her own hard work and persistence. It's great to feel like I had a part in that, too. 
Being involved with Enroot has been a great experience all around, I feel like I've grown as a person and as a leader, and I've been able to see the impact of my volunteer efforts on my community. 

Volunteer Profile: Maddy Frumkin

Maddy works as a Research Coordinator and volunteers as a Cambridge tutor

Meeting with my student is one of my favorite parts of the week! As her tutor, I have had the opportunity to help her with English (she does all the hard work), and we have even started planning for college and her future career. I love that we are able to laugh and have a good time together while still making huge improvements! 

Volunteer Profile: Suvd Tsolmon

Suvd Tsolmon is a a solutions consultant or Oracle, former Cambridge mentor, and Volunteer Committee Member

I started volunteering as a mentor from September 2015, and then I joined the Volunteer Committee summer 2016. I enjoyed my year of mentorship experience with Enroot so much, that I decided to join the Volunteer Committee to stay involved with the organization, even though I could not mentor this year. I mentored Hattan, a very smart and sweet HS freshman girl who had just moved to the U.S. when I first met her. Being part of Hattan’s life during this very important transition in her life was one of the most rewarding experiences I’ve ever had.

Enroot is an amazing organization that cares so much about their students and volunteers. They always make sure that both students and volunteers are enjoying their experiencing through volunteer trainings, social events, and fun mentor and mentee bonding activities.

Volunteer Profile: Ariella Pasackow

Ariella is a Program Officer at RefugePoint and a Cambridge Mentor

 I found Enroot online after searching for volunteer opportunities with immigrants and refugees in the greater Boston area. I have tutored English Language Learners in the past, and currently work for a refugee resettlement agency in Cambridge, but was very excited to be working with young adults in my neighborhood in such a comprehensive and  holistic integration model.

 I was matched with a CRLS sophomore in March 2015, just three months after she arrived in the US with her family from India. Since then, we have met on a weekly basis to discuss her homework, job, and friends, along with everything she learns in the Leadership Seminar with Enroot. We’ve watched Bollywood movies and music videos together, walked around Harvard campus, and spent time with family and friends. Having both lived in India before moving to Cambridge, we talk a lot about her hometown, school, and life in Gujarat.

What excites me the most about Enroot is that they care about the whole student-not just grades or test scores. Through mentoring, tutoring, job opportunities, field trips, and seminars, students get 360 degrees of support on top of their typical school day. Full time staff are dedicated to student and volunteer success, and the impact is measurable. The students want to be there, the volunteers keep coming back, and the entire experience is positive, productive, and powerful.

Enroot is an incredible network of students, volunteers, staff and supporters; I am lucky to consider myself a part of the family!

Somerville Student Writes about her Mentor and Tutor

Hi, my name is Kela, and I’m in 11th grade at Somerville High School. I’m originally from Port-au-Prince in Haiti.


For my 18th birthday in February, my mentor Afton and my tutor Caitlin celebrated with me and a friend by going out to eat together. We went to Redbones in Davis Square and had a lot of fun. Afton chose the place to eat because I didn’t know where to go, but I really liked the BBQ sandwich. It was the best birthday ever! When I go out with them, we have a lot of fun together.

I like my mentor and tutor because they are awesome and really help when I don’t know what to do. Afton has really helped me write my resume to help apply for jobs and college. When I was struggling with my science fair project and I didn’t know what to write about or where to start, Caitlin gave me a brilliant idea what to write about, and she helped me write the project. Enroot is really a great program because I’m able to have a tutor, and talk to someone about college.

Thank you.

Volunteer Profile: Tal Havivi

Tal Havivi works as Education Advisor at Amazon and is a second-year Cambridge Mentor


My volunteer experience has been eye-opening and meaningful. In addition to feeling like I’ve made a strong impact on someone’s life, I have grown a lot as an individual in how I interact with my mentee, other relationships in my life, and professionally as well.

I love spending time with my mentee, and I also enjoy having conversations with other mentors about their experiences and how to work through difficult situations. The Enroot staff is very supporting and creates a great experience for the mentees and mentors. This experience has been very meaningful to me. It is easy to get caught up in my personal/professional life and, in addition to making a big impact on my mentee, volunteering with Enroot has helped give me a better perspective on day-to-day life.

Volunteer Profile: Jonathan Ho

Jonathan works as a Quality Manager and is a first-year Somerville Mentor

My student and I found that we both share a love of fine dining. Specifically, ramen. We've had opportunities to push each other whether it's in learning new SAT words and colloquialisms, eating absurd amounts of ramen, or standing up and publicly sharing our dreams in a ramen shop. Though I need to learn how to plan better (visiting a college during their winter break and sneaking into their empty buildings is fun, but not very helpful), we've had fun with these odd adventures. Throughout these times together we've been able to share about our families, passions, and interests and where we hope to be in the future. 

Enroot gives me an opportunity to connect with others, whether they are students, volunteers, or staff, in an informal way without agenda. I enjoy tutoring, but mentoring allows me to just spend life with someone and get to know them, and I am so thankful for the opportunity. It's a blessing to have a chance to just connect.   

After high school and college, I started losing community made up of people in my neighborhood. I started hanging out with people just like me and true neighborhood community started becoming harder and harder to find. I mean, neighborhood block parties are fun, but when do you get to consistently and meaningfully connect with your neighbors? Enroot is helping me meet my neighbors, to see the people who live in my city, whether they are volunteers or staff or the Enroot students. Enroot not only gives students opportunities to connect and become part of the community, but it helps me do the same. And not only do the staff at Enroot give you the opportunity, they also give you the support to do it well and so I'm also learning how to better connect with and build into the lives of others.