Somerville visits Akamai

Somerville High School Enroot students visited Akamai last week to learn about careers in technology. Akamai, one of the largest content delivery networks, is based nearby in Cambridge. After a rainy commute to Kendall, students were greeted with cookies, an engaging tour of Akamai’s workplace, and the opportunity to ask questions.

Students spoke with employees about the many varied paths they had taken to work at a technology company. They learned that many Akamai employees had no formal training in computer science at all, but were rather trained in the specificity of Akamai’s work only after joining the team. Akamai employees stressed the value they see in students with problem solving skills and the appreciation they have for diversity, particularly through their many recruitment programs for applicants of minority backgrounds. Students left with reassurance that behind the intimidating computer screens were smiling, welcoming faces and with a sense of confidence that in just a few years they could be right alongside them.

Students listen and take notes as they toured Akamai’s building and spoke with Akamai employees.

Students listen and take notes as they toured Akamai’s building and spoke with Akamai employees.

Students Give Back to the Community

Despite the freezing weather, Enroot students came out to serve their community at Many Helping Hands’ Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service on January 21st in Cambridge. Enroot students volunteered alongside nearly 3000 members of the Cambridge community including Senator Elizabeth Warren and Representative Ayanna Pressley, as they made scarves, blankets, and Valentines Day cards. Read more on the day in the Cambridge Chronicle.

Enroot Student Harry pictured with Senator Elizabeth Warren. Picture by the  Cambridge Chronicle .

Enroot Student Harry pictured with Senator Elizabeth Warren. Picture by the Cambridge Chronicle.

Student Reflection on Visiting Fidelity

By: Adnan, Enroot 12th grade student

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On January 17th, we had a special seminar and we went on a field trip to Fidelity. Fidelity is a multinational financial services corporation based in Boston, Massachusetts. It’s one of the largest asset managers, it controls around $2.5 trillion.

We were exploring and admiring the art around the building, led by an employee who worked at Fidelity for 12 years. There was an art which really surprised me, it was called “Eumorph” made by August Ventimiglia. He made it with chalk tape. There was another one which was fascinating. It was made by Thor and Jennifer Bueno called “silver series.” It was made of different shapes of silver droplets and contained a chemical element called Mercury.

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We also had some delicious snacks that they offered us. We had an panel where we talked to 3 employees and they were sharing their past with us. They told us how long it took for them in order to be what they are today. They also talked about a rotational program where you can work with different people in different departments, which will help us discover what we want to continue doing. We also talked to different employees who had different majors in college.

I personally think it was a great experience talking to different people and know their opinion about how to succeed. I also added them in linkedin in order to stay connected with them, so I can keep talking to them and in future they can help get a job or internship.

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Enroot STEAM Panel Inspires Students With the Help of Our Cambridge Community

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Enroot held a STEAM panel yesterday featuring careers in robotics, biotechnology, mechanical engineering, e-commerce, and IT infrastructure. Thank you to Biogen for including our students in the STAR Initiative and making learning opportunities like this possible! A special thank you to our panelists from Ava Robotics, Akamai Technologies, Sensata Technologies, CarGurus, and Biogen.

A Visit to Simmons University

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On October 31st, the Enroot female students made a trip to Simmons University located in the Boston area. Simmons University is a women-focused university. At the University, students were given a presentation about the requirements to apply to the university. Students were also guided about the financial aid at Simmons University. Students were told about the scholarships that Simmons has to offer. Finally, students were educated about the programs Simmons offers to those who are undergrad.

Something to take into consideration from the tour to Simmons University is the Kotzen Scholarship that Simmons offers to those who have a GPA of 3.49 and SAT scores of 1300 or above. The Kotzen Scholarship covers the cost for tuition, study abroad, and dorms. Students were informed that they can commute from home while being a student at the Simmons University.

Enroot always takes students to tour like this to different universities and colleges. It is really helpful for students who are seniors and also the ones who are juniors, sophomores, and freshmen because the tour can help students figure out which college is the best fit for them.

Cambridge Hosts First Seminar of the School Year

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On October 15th , the first Enroot seminar of the year started with all the excitement and joy. I saw happiness in people and Enroot staff to just be in the seminar. We met for the first time with students, friends and staff and talked about our summer, how we’ve been. We had seminar for the whole week. On the first day, we introduced each other and welcomed the new Georgia which is Katie. Katie makes sure mentees meet their mentor and same for tutoring.  

We played games like Would You Rather, The Great Wind Blows and the blanket game, which was a great activity for us to learn each other’s names. We also got in groups of 4 and made posters about our culture. We divided a poster into 4 and we shared our culture. Anything which represents our culture, we drew that on the poster. One of the fun activities was mirror drawing. It was an excellent way to enhance your writing and listening skills.

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We are in the Leadership Program, which also gives us an internship along with tutoring, mentoring and weekly seminar. We talked about internships, how to dress professionally and how to go for an interview. The Cambridge Program Director Sandra Canas and staff member Debbie acted out being a bad and good intern. We also took an survey about how are we doing in this program. I am glad Enroot started again, I know I am gonna enjoy a lot and I look forward to it.


Cambridge Historical Society: Where is Cambridge From?

Student Speakers: Shahnawaz, Deborah, and Oumaima

Student Speakers: Shahnawaz, Deborah, and Oumaima

Who is welcome and safe here? The Cambridge Historical Society delved into questions of identity, belonging, and welcoming at their Fall Forum.

Three Enroot students presented their stories of immigration from India, Haiti, and Morocco to the United States. Students focused on the struggle to learn English, navigate a new school system, and find community in a new city.

A group of panelists discussed historical and contemporary dimensions of immigration in Cambridge, which became a Sanctuary City in 1985. The panel discussion featured Cambridge Police Superintendent Christine Elow, Nestor Pimienta of Harvard Divinity School, Charles Sullivan from Cambridge Historical Commission, and moderated by Reverend Irene Monroe.

Somerville Students ask Commissioner Jeff Riley questions about the State of Latino Education

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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.

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.

Commissioner Jeff Riley responds to questions.

Commissioner Jeff Riley responds to questions.

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.

From College Access to College Success

We are about to embark on a new journey: supporting Enroot students for two additional years after high school to ensure all of our students have the resources to transition to post-secondary education, graduate from a 2 or 4 year college, and grow in a meaningful career. English Language Learners have the lowest college completion rate compared to any other student group, and we believe that it is essential to not just invest in college access in high school, but in our students' continued success upon high school graduation.

With are grateful to the generous support from the Lafferty Family Foundation and The Philanthropy Connection, for making this possible. The program will include mentoring, 1:1 coaching, and support navigating the higher education system.  We are thrilled to announce Enroot AmeriCorps Massachusetts Promise Fellow, Georgia Lederman, will be leading this effort as our Manager of College Success and Alumni Engagement! 

College Success programming is essential in expanding opportunities for traditionally marginalized individuals and communities and Enroot is uniquely positioned to do this work alongside our students. I could not be more excited to manage Enroot’s College Success Program, which will include academic, career,  financial and social-emotional coaching, ultimately leading to an increase in the number of first-generation immigrants who graduate from college and enter the workforce ready to succeed.
— Georgia Lederman, Manager of College Success & Alumni Engagement
Enroot student Jarna pictured at freshman orientation. She will study Fashion Design and Marketing at Framinham State University. We look forward to working with Jarna and students like her in our College Success program!

Enroot student Jarna pictured at freshman orientation. She will study Fashion Design and Marketing at Framinham State University. We look forward to working with Jarna and students like her in our College Success program!

Students head to the White Mountains

Cambridge students went with Enroot to Moosialuke Ravine Lodge for three days filled with hiking, camp fires, s'mores, friendship bracelets, contra dancing, and exploring the White Mountains.

My favorite part of the trip was the hiking and the views. I also noticed that without cell phones we have so much more time in the day without all the distractions.
— Nafis, Enroot Student

With no cell phone or internet access in the mountains of New Hampshire, students were able to disconnect from social media and from their busy lives to enjoy nature. Students played soccer, participated in an "Enroot fashion show," and got to know one another over shared meals. 

Thank you to Moosialuke Ravine Lodge for hosting Enroot students!