The new year is off to a great start at Enroot with our biggest class of students to date; we couldn’t be more proud of all the things they are achieving. I continue to be inspired constantly by the resilience and generosity they demonstrate day after day.
This year’s MLK Many Helping Hands Day of Service was an incredible chance to connect with so many of you. Walking into the room with my own little kids I was struck by what a dedicated community we are, that even on such a frigid day we show up, love freely, and give generously.
And yet, we are reminded on a daily basis what a difficult time it is to be a person of color and immigrant at this point in our country’s history. Both the FBI report last November and data compiled by the Center for Hate and Extremism confirm a significant and deeply troubling rise in hate crimes.
Now more than ever it’s essential for us to use our voices at every opportunity to stand up against racism, anti-immigrant sentiment, and hatred in all of its forms. I encourage you to attend the Cambridge Digs DEEP events, a series of conversations facilitated by Dr. Darnisa Amante and hosted by the City of Cambridge that offer opportunities to learn and become both a resource and an advocate.
Thank you for being a part of Enroot’s work and for the work each of you are doing in your own circles to dismantle racism and discrimination. We need and appreciate every one of you.
College Visits, Mentoring, and more
Somerville: Students and mentors established strong and trusting relationships this fall and winter. Mentorship comes in many different shapes and forms: sometimes it's just investing a few minutes to play an UNO game, studying for an exam, taking selfies, learning about each other's cultures, ice skating for the first time, or celebrating a small success. Mentors, thank you for everything you do. Your impact on the students is extremely important and the positivity you bring to our young adults shows itself through the students' progress. Last week, Somerville students went on a field trip to Akamai to learn about careers in technology - read more about the trip on our blog!
Cambridge: Enroot Cambridge had 4 recent college visits! We went to Tufts University, Simmons College, UMass Boston and Benjamin Franklin Institute. At Simmons and UMass Boston, we met with Enroot alumni who shared their experiences with current students. It's exciting and motivating for students to be able to visit local campuses and picture themselves in college. Leadership students and their mentors kicked off the holiday season by building Gingerbread Houses together right before Winter Break. Pairs spent the first half of the evening polishing up students' resumes, and the second half constructing Gingerbread structures of all shapes and sizes. Enroot Cambridge students had a great visit to Fidelity Investment. Cambridge student, Adnan, wrote about the visit to Fidelity on our blog. Students heard from speakers who told their immigrant stories and how they made it to where they are today. In addition, students had the opportunity to to practice networking and interviewing skills and in the process meet Fidelity professionals from all backgrounds.
Across Sites: Our annual holiday party brought together students from both of our partner schools to play games, make new friends, and dance to music from around the world.
Spotlight on College Success
This fall we enrolled 28 students in Enroot's new College Success program. We're thrilled that and 100% of those students are still enrolled in college for the spring semester and 46% of our students made the Dean's Lists at their schools (requiring a 3.5 GPA or higher). College Success students attended our recent holiday gathering with mentors and received school supplies generously donated by The Philanthropy Connection members. This winter, our Manager of College Success will conduct 1-1 phone calls, creating personalized support plans with each student.
Enroot held a STEAM panel featuring careers in robotics, biotechnology, mechanical engineering, e-commerce, and IT infrastructure. Thank you to the Biogen Foundation 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.
Cycling for Enroot
Enroot raised over $1,000 at the Handlebar Indoor Cycling Studio in Harvard Square! Enroot volunteers, friends, and community members joined a 45-minute community ride with profits going to support Enroot's work. Thank you for coming out!
Enroot in the News
Check out these three articles featuring Enroot in the Cambridge Chronicle and Christian Science Monitor!
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. 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. Enroot student Harry is pictured above with Elizabeth Warren in an article by the Cambridge Chronicle.
What’s made rates of degree attainment for immigrant students spike? A recent article in The Christian Science Monitor looks to Enroot's work as part of the answer. "Across the country, the education levels of immigrants have been steadily rising over the past several decades, partly because of programs like Enroot that focus on providing long-term support. In 1980, about 16 percent of immigrants had earned a bachelor’s degree. By 2016, the number grew to 30 percent, according to the Pew Research Center. This increase has all but closed the gap between immigrants and US-born residents: 31.6 percent of those born in the US have a bachelor’s degree."
Executive Director Ben Clark wrote an opinion piece published in the Cambridge Chronicle in December entitled, "An open letter to the white community of Cambridge." "When I reflect honestly on racist and/or discriminatory things I’ve said or done, two decades ago or even last week, I feel a pit form in my stomach and deep shame. It’s natural to feel bad about these things and ashamed of how our actions diminish the experience of people who are dear to us. It’s also natural to wonder whether these things you’ve already done compromise your moral integrity. I believe the true test is in whether, upon more clearly recognizing how your actions impact others, you take responsibility and corrective action."
Enroot is a nonprofit dedicated to empowering immigrant youth to achieve academic, career, and personal success through inspiring out-of-school experiences.