Enroot awarded $500,000 grant through Biogen Foundation’s STAR Initiative

Biogen Foundation announced Enroot as one of 6 key partners of the $10 million STAR Initiative to drive the development of local STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) ecosystems in Cambridge and Somerville.

The 4-year $500,000 investment represents an exciting opportunity for accelerated growth and program improvement.  The STAR Initiative will have a significant impact on making Cambridge and Somerville more equitable communities. Enroot is grateful for this investment in immigrant students and proud to play a key role in this major initiative.

We thank you for your ongoing commitment to Enroot students and to increasing equity in our communities. Please read the full press release below.


Cambridge, MA

Enroot is thrilled to receive a $500,000 investment from the Biogen Foundation. The grant is part of the Biogen Foundation’s STAR Initiative, a coordinated funding strategy to invest $10 million over four years to catalyze the development of local STEM ecosystems in Cambridge and Somerville. STAR (which stands for Science, Teacher support, Access and Readiness) is intended to strengthen and support the educational landscapes in these cities by increasing access to STEM resources and opportunities for students most underrepresented in STEM college or career pathways.

As the only out of school time partner specifically focused on meeting the needs of English Language Learner (ELL) students, Enroot has the opportunity to engage the vast majority of ELL students at Cambridge Rindge and Latin School and a growing portion of those at Somerville High School. Enroot’s participation in the Biogen STAR Initiative will ensure that the ELL student populations in Cambridge and Somerville are fully included in this exciting movement to expand STEM resources and opportunities.

Biogen’s support will help Enroot grow to support 220 students with over 300 volunteers by the final year of funding. The investment recognizes immigrants as key stakeholders in a global economy and allows them to leverage their differences to achieve personal success and contribute to the success of the country. This investment will enable Enroot to serve significantly more students and deepen our STEM focus by: increasing the number of STEM internships, featuring more STEM professionals on career panels and visits, recruiting more mentors from STEM fields, improving academic tutoring in STEM subjects, and providing more college access support.

As a STAR Initiative partner, Enroot joins Breakthrough Greater Boston, Citizen Schools, Young People’s Project, uAspire, and Lesley University, in promoting STEM awareness, exploration, and skill-building tools and activities. On receiving this award, Enroot’s Executive Director Ben Clark commented ‘'We do this work because we believe that immigrants have been, are, and must remain an essential source of strength, vitality, and new ideas to this country. This grant is a testament to Biogen’s commitment to inclusion and equity in the STEM fields and indicative of the Foundation’s recognition of the contributions of immigrants to the sciences.”

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About Biogen Foundation: The Biogen Foundation supports access to science education and to essential human services for children and their families in the communities in which Biogen facilities are located. The Biogen Foundation is committed to sparking a passion for science and discovery, supporting effective science education initiatives, and strengthening efforts to make science education and science careers accessible to diverse populations.

Biogen Foundation supports non profit organizations that focus on providing access to:

  • Hands-on science education
  • Teacher development opportunities in science
  • College readiness and support
  • Basic social needs (child hunger, poverty, and social mobility)

About Enroot: Enroot is a non-profit on a mission to empower immigrant youth to achieve academic, career, and personal success through inspiring out-of-school experiences. For the past 25 years, Enroot has directed programming for low-income immigrant high school students at Cambridge Rindge and Latin School with program alumni going on to graduate college at twice the rate of their peers with demonstrated increases in self-confidence, advocacy, and leadership skills. Two years ago Enroot expanded its programming to Somerville High School. Our team of adult mentors, tutors, instructors, and case managers empowers students through comprehensive out-of-school programming that enables each student not only to succeed, but to achieve their own American dream. Visit enrooteducation.org to learn more.

Press Contact:
Dananai Morgan | Director of Development & Strategic Initiatives
dmorgan@enrooteducation.org | (617) 674-0178