Oct 19, 2017

Enroot alumnus reflects on time in the program

Jean at his office, Cambridge City Hall
Jean at his office, Cambridge City Hall

Enroot alumnus Jean emigrated from Haiti in 2005 half way through the school year at the request of his father, who was eager for him to access a better education. When he arrived he spoke almost no English and lived with his aunt, who did not speak any Creole or French. This made communication with his official guardian extremely limited.

Jean also had major challenges transitioning to his new school, since he did not know any other students and had such limited English. For the first few months instead of going to the cafeteria for lunch, he wandered the halls and sat on a bench out of site.

“I had lunch money but I couldn’t go get it since I didn’t speak any English and I didn’t know how to order. So I would just go sit on a bench. I didn’t know anybody. I was afraid – what if I say the wrong thing, order the wrong food – what if they don’t understand me. I did this for my first 2-3 months.”

Jean was welcomed into the Enroot program a few months after arriving and participated for 2 and half years and graduated in 2008. As part of his Enroot experience, Jean worked as an intern at the Cambridge Finance Department for two years in Cambridge City Hall, helping residents over the phone and in person with information about taxes and water bills. Excited about a career in this area, he attended the University of Massachusetts at Boston and earned a Bachelor’s degree in Finance. During college, he was able to use the connections he made and skills he developed as an Enroot student to obtain a part-time position in the Finance Department in the City of Cambridge. After graduating he was hired full-time in their Auditing Department. Last year Jean was proud to be awarded "2017 Outstanding City Employee of the Year" by Cambridge City Manager Louis D. Pasquale, who had helped supervise Jean years ago as an Enroot intern.

Jean credits Enroot for his understanding of how to work in an office and how to be a professional. He also said his mentor was pivotal in this phase of life, as an adult he worked closely with over 2.5 years and who helped him navigate key parts of the post-secondary process, like the college essay and selection process.

“The top two things I’ve learned at Enroot are to believe in yourself and that teamwork is very important. Starting with my internship through Enroot, I was able to learn how to work in an office and how to be professional. In our meetings at Enroot I’ve also learned a lot from guests that came to help us understand what it takes to be a professional. After my internship at the finance department, they offered me a part time job as an intern, with my body of work which I’ve learned from my days at Enroot I was able to get a full time job at the Auditing Department. My advice (to current students) is to be patient, believe in yourself and know that at Enroot you have an amazing group of people who genuinely care for you and will get the best out of you.”


Jul 26, 2017

Enroot student chosen for prestigious scholarship!

Enroot is thrilled to annouce one of our graduating seniors, Sati* was chosen for the prestigious United Way Marion L. Heard Scholarship, because of her "leadership experience, excellence in community service, and dedication to academics." We are so proud of all of our seniors! 

Read on for why this scholarship is so important to Sati and her family:

As a child of humble Bengali immigrants, I have learned that progress and success is a result of one’s willingness to set realistic but challenging goals and work hard to achieve them. As I embark on this new journey post high-school, I hope to pursue a nursing career by first attaining a Bachelor of Science in Nursing(BSN) followed by a Master’s of Science in Nursing(MSN). These two degrees will enable me to achieve my career and personal goals of becoming a nurse. My short-term goal post bachelor's degree would be to become a certified Registered Nurse (RN). After getting a couple of years of work experience and completing my Master’s degree, I plan to achieve my long-term goal of becoming a Nurse Practitioner (NP).
As I continue to grow both personally and professionally, I plan on entering college with an open and inquisitive mindset. My plans are to take difficult classes that will challenge me to think outside of the box, as well as prepare me for the demanding career as a nurse. In addition, I plan to be an active participant in my college community to not only learn from my peers, but also share my stories and passion. In Bangladesh, I would have never had the opportunity to attend a four year college and pursue my lifelong dream of helping people. In addition to helping others, the reason I want to have a successful career post college is to help my family financially. I am so thankful for all the opportunities I have in the United States and I am ready to work hard to achieve my goals and make the world a better place for others and my family!

Thank you for making this work possible!

*name changed

May 2, 2017

Update on Enroot students

Enroot students go bowling with their mentors
Enroot students go bowling with their mentors

Hi, my name is Catheline*, 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.


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