Volunteer Profiles

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!

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. 

Volunteer Profile: David Bach

David is studying to become a physical therapist at MGH Institute of Health Professions and is a mentor in Cambridge.

David and his mentee Benjamin

I am in my second year volunteering as a mentor with Enroot. My student came to the US from the Dominican Republic in the Fall of 2015. We meet weekly and have spent time practicing English, playing chess and card games, and when the weather allows, we like to go outside to play basketball. We have tried new foods together, gone ice skating, and have a trip planned to the Museum of Science for later this month. Volunteering with Enroot has been a very rewarding experience. Not only have I been able to create a strong mentorship bond with my student, but I also have become part of a great community of fellow mentors who are kind, creative, and strengthen our community. I feel fortunate to be a part of this community that makes a positive difference in the lives of so many young people. 

Volunteer Profile: Beza Woldemeskel

Beza works as a research associate at a Biotech Company and is a Cambridge mentor.

Beza and her mentee, KB

I've been volunteering with Enroot for the past two years, during which time I have worked with two incredible students who recently immigrated to the US. Bonding with my mentees by sharing my personal experiences and learning of their interesting life stories has been very rewarding. I have also enjoyed supporting them on homework as well as college application and career exploration processes.

What excites me most about volunteering with Enroot is knowing that I am part of a program that has a strong impact in empowering immigrant students. As someone who recently moved to the US, I understand the impact that mentors have, and I am honored to work with a program that values such relationships.

Volunteering at Enroot has been rewarding and it is one of the highlights of my week! It has also allowed me to be more self reflective on my experiences. 

Volunteer Profile: Elizabeth Blanco

Liz Blanco is a program director in the nonprofit sector, a full-time graduate student, and a Cambridge mentor.

I'm in my second year of mentoring with Enroot and have been on the volunteer committee for just under a year.  My mentee and I were paired when she was a freshman. I'm hoping to work with her until she graduates and am really excited to see my her grow through her high school years. I've been able to develop a great relationship with my mentee and have met very interesting people through volunteer activities. It's also been nice to strengthen some soft skills (like intercultural communications) through the various trainings, activities, and events. 

Volunteer Profile: Tom Dworetsky

Tom works as an Economic Development Analyst and is a Somerville tutor.

Tom and his tutee, Manuel 

I just finished my first semester volunteering as a tutor with Enroot, and it's been a great experience. I've worked with two different students so far, and love the sense of community among the students, volunteers, and program staff. It's clear that the support the students receive through the program motivates them to want to succeed in school. This opportunity to play a role in a student's life is extremely rewarding, and they are so grateful for the help. 

I can't recommend Enroot enough! Get involved -- a few hours a week makes a huge difference in a student's life.