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Enroot Inc.

 99 Bishop Allen Drive
 Cambridge, MA 02139
[P] (617) 876-5214 x 1
[F] --
Dananai Morgan
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 Printable Profile (Summary / Full)
EIN 04-2103961

LAST UPDATED: 01/10/2019
Organization DBA Enroot
Former Names Cambridge Community Services (2016)
Organization received a competitive grant from the Boston Foundation in the past five years No


Mission StatementMORE »

Enroot's mission is to empower immigrant youth to achieve academic, career, and personal success through inspiring out-of-school experiences. 

Mission Statement

Enroot's mission is to empower immigrant youth to achieve academic, career, and personal success through inspiring out-of-school experiences. 

FinancialsMORE »

Fiscal Year July 01, 2018 to June 30, 2019
Projected Income $1,326,296.00
Projected Expense $1,185,659.00

ProgramsMORE »

  • Enroot Program

Revenue vs. Expense ($000s)

Expense Breakdown 2017 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2016 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2015 (%)

For more details regarding the organization's financial information, select the financial tab and review available comments.


Mission Statement

Enroot's mission is to empower immigrant youth to achieve academic, career, and personal success through inspiring out-of-school experiences. 

Background Statement

Enroot empowers low-income, immigrant high school students to achieve academic, personal, and career success through inspiring out of school experiences. Over the last 25 years Enroot earned a track record of success serving immigrant students in Cambridge and is proud of all that our hundreds of alumni have gone on to accomplish. In 2016 Enroot expanded to Somerville and plans to continue expanding throughout the greater Boston area in the coming years.

In 1992, City Links (now known as Enroot) was born out of a collaboration between the Cambridge Office of Workforce Development and Cambridge Public Schools, in an effort to address a particularly large influx of immigrants, primarily from Central America. The city found itself unable to effectively serve this new population, due to linguistic and cultural barriers. The program was designed to diversify the City’s workforce and ensure agencies were able to meet the changing needs of the new, diverse population, all while providing meaningful workforce readiness opportunities to newly arrived immigrant youth. Enroot’s students have provided valuable services to the City of Cambridge for 25 years through translation and community outreach work at organizations such as the Cambridge Public Library, after-school community programs, and the Vice Mayor’s Office, all while receiving mentoring, academic support, and leadership development. Several students have gone on to take permanent positions at the organizations they interned at as high school students and many more have taken the skills they learned to college and beyond.
We now serve 115 immigrant high school students in Cambridge and Somerville, with plans to serve 175 students next year, including the addition of 25 students in our newly developed post-secondary success program designed for students in their first two years after high school graduation.

Enroot empowers students to succeed in college, career, and life. The goals of the program are to help students:

  1. Improve academic performance
  2. Demonstrate a greater sense of community and belonging, self-confidence and advocacy
  3. Develop a clear and inspiring pathway for higher education and career
  4. Build a marketable skill set through real-world, paid internships
  5. Graduate high school prepared to successfully transition to and graduate from post-secondary education 

Impact Statement

Achievements: Enroot has successfully incubated its program in Cambridge for the past 25 years, doubling the college graduation rate for immigrant students. While only 21% of low-income students in the U.S. graduate college in 6 years, 41% of program alumni have completed a Bachelor’s degree, 28% of alumni are currently enrolled in a four-year degree program, and another 10% of alumni have completed 2-year post-secondary education programs. Providing such holistic programming ensures Enroot students develop language skills, excel academically, demonstrate a greater sense of community and belonging, and develop concrete professional skills, all with a greater understanding of how to navigate and thrive within the systems in our community.

This year, 100% of Enroot's seniors graduated from high school and 92% went on to a 2 or 4 year college. Students received over $75,000 in scholarships and were accepted to 26 different colleges. 
Program Goals:  Enroot plans to grow to serve a total of 175 students in the 2018-2019 academic year; manage 200 volunteer mentors and tutors; select a third site for a fall 2019 launch date; and roll out a post-secondary success pilot program. While 41% of Enroot alumni graduate from college, more than double the rate of their peers, we believe that by providing transitional support, continued mentorship, and case management to students throughout the two years after high school, the number of post-secondary graduates will be even higher: our goal is that 60% of Enroot students who complete high school will graduate college within 6 years.

Needs Statement

As community demographics shift, Enroot has expanded beyond Cambridge to Somerville High School, continuing our focus of supporting low-income immigrant populations, maintaining our commitment to equalizing access to opportunity for this population. We plan to grow to a third site in the Fall of 2019 and are eager for new partners to support our expansion to schools eager to provide out-of-school time programming for their newly arrived students. 

As Enroot grows, our volunteer recruitment, management, and support of our mentors and tutors will increase accordingly. In this coming year, Enroot will need to maintain over 200 mentors and tutors to support our students. We are always in need of more volunteers to serve in this capacity.
Recognizing that only 30% of Americans complete a college degree in 6 years, post-secondary success programming is crucial to support students during the transition from high school to higher education. Adequately supporting the growing English Language Learner (ELL) student population remains a major challenge for most communities. ELLs are the lowest performing cohort in Massachusetts with only 63% of ELLs graduating high school on-time compared to the state average of 81%. For college completion, the contrast is staggering: 42% of Cambridge Rindge and Latin School (CRLS) students go on to graduate from college in six years in stark comparison to a mere 17% by English Language Learners. While we have received initial funding to support our post-secondary success pilot programming from the Lafferty Family Charitable Fund and The Philanthropy Connection, we are looking for partners to help us continue in growing this work beyond the first year and to more students.

CEO Statement

As of July 2016, Cambridge Community Services (CCS) and City Links have re-branded, and will now be known as Enroot. Our new name and brand is more reflective of our current work and aspirations moving forward. The word enroot [v. to establish, to attach or place securely, to fix by the root] speaks to both the unique student population we serve and the impact we strive for each day as we support their growth during their first few years in this country.

We spent time refining our mission and values and after discussion with Board, staff, and students deiced the following four core values embody our work and our plans for the future: student first, sense of possibility, authentic relationships, and constant improvement. Our fourth core value, “constant improvement,” demands our continued improvement and evolution and we are excited to re-brand as Enroot. The mission and program CCS supporters have known and loved for many years as City Links, the amazing students we serve, and our deep commitment to their success will all remain the same. 

Cambridge Community Services was established in 1938 as a philanthropic federation, coordinating the development of charitable funds and assessing needs in the community. Over the past 80 years, Cambridge has changed dramatically, from a manufacturing-based economy to the diverse, capable, resource-rich city it is today. Understanding these shifts in community demographics and needs, the Board of Directors engaged in a long-term strategic planning process and emerged with an inspiring new vision for the future. The Board recognized the success of over two decades of programming (formerly known as City Links) that had developed a highly successful program model in Cambridge serving newly arrived young people as they grow accustomed to their new home in Massachusetts through inspiring out-of-school time programming. The Board set forth a new vision of expansion beyond Cambridge and a name change to Enroot to better represent our work.

Board Chair Statement


Geographic Area Served

In a specific U.S. city, cities, state(s) and/or region.
Cambridge and Somerville, MA

Organization Categories

  1. Youth Development - Adult, Child Matching Programs
  2. Education - Secondary & High Schools
  3. Civil Rights, Social Action, Advocacy - Minority Rights

Independent research has been conducted on this organization's theory of change or on the effectiveness of this organization's program(s)



Enroot Program

Enroot enrolls English Language Learner (ELL) students at Cambridge Rindge and Latin School and Somerville High School and provides 3-4 years of structured, wrap-around support through the Explore and Leadership Cohorts:

Year 1: Enroot’s Explore Mentoring Cohort is designed to serve students with the lowest level of English-language proficiency. Students are matched with an adult volunteer mentor, provided individualized case management, and attend weekly workshops.

Years 2, 3, 4: Enroot Leadership Cohort students are provided with holistic, wrap-around programming, spending 10-15 hours a week engaged in activities designed to increase access to postsecondary and career opportunities. Each week students meet 1-1 with a mentor for 90 minutes, meet 1-1 with an academic tutor for 90 minutes, and participate in a leadership development workshop. Nearly all students work at a professional internship several days a week at offices throughout Cambridge and Somerville. Enroot juniors and seniors also participate in monthly Postsecondary Workshops, college visits, and receive additional postsecondary guidance from Enroot staff members.

After Enroot students graduate from high school, they have the opportunity to remain involved with Enroot through our post-secondary success programming: receiving coaching from Enroot staff, meeting regularly with their mentor, and staying connected to the Enroot community.

Budget  $749,841.00
Category  Youth Development, General/Other Youth Leadership
Population Served Adolescents Only (13-19 years) College Aged (18-26 years) Immigrant, Newcomers, Refugees
Program Short-Term Success 

Enroot measures the impact of: 1:1 academic tutoring, 1:1 mentoring, job readiness training, leadership development seminars, and community service.

Self-Confidence and Leadership Skills: While 1 in 4 youth display worrisome signs of depression and anxiety:

  • 88% of students report significant increases in self-confidence and advocacy skills
  • 87% of students report discovering unique skills and talents

"Before [Enroot], I had no idea what I wanted to do and no idea what I should do to prepare myself for the future. [Now] I am more confident in what I want and what I should do to handle problems that may come up." - Program Almumna, Class of 2014, Colby-Sawyer College Class of 2018

Professional Skills and Workforce Readiness: When transitioning from school to career is challenging:
  • 96% of students report increased professional skills, including time management, collaboration, workplace communication, and networking
  • 95% of worksite supervisors would re-hire their intern for a second (or more) year
Program Long-Term Success 

College Readiness and Completion: While 21% of low-income students graduate college in 6 years: 

  • 41% of alumni have completed a Bachelor’s degree
  • 28% of alumni are currently enrolled in a four-year degree program
  • 10% of alumni completed 2-year post-secondary education programs

 “When I first joined the program… I had almost given up on my education. [Enroot] opened up a way for me and I was able to see that anything was possible if I kept doing my best and not giving up.” - Program Alumnus, Class of 2016, Massachusetts College of Art and Design, Class of 2020

Professional Success: Alumni point to their professional skills as the most important skills built throughout the program: time management, teamwork, interviewing skills, networking, and good communication. Alumni reported significant growth in their overall professionalism, ability to work independently or on a team, and their professional communication skills.

“[Enroot] taught me how to work in an office and how to be a professional. I am where I am today because of City Links.” - Program Alumnus from Haiti, Class of 2011, UMASS Boston, Class of 2015

As a student, Jean, from Haiti, worked as an intern at the Cambridge Finance Department in Cambridge City Hall, helping Cambridge residents over the phone and in person with information about taxes and water bills. He later attended UMass Boston and received a degree in finance. Upon graduating, he was able to use the connections he made and skills he developed as an Enroot student to obtain an interview and was hired by the City of Cambridge Auditing Department.

Program Success Monitored By 

Our current evaluation system relies on the SAYO-Y (Survey of Academic and Youth Outcomes- Youth) pre- and post-survey from NIOST (National Institute of Out of School Time), student focus groups, as well as post-secondary success metrics. We have developed a system for storing the data and worked with third-party partners to evaluate basic trends in the data. We are in the process of updating and revamping our evaluation system with Social Venture Partner Boston and are eager to implement a more robust system for our program evaluation that is specifically designed for English language learners and ensuring that our surveys and materials are not only accessible, but culturally appropriate for our diverse group of students.

Examples of Program Success 

Our students are transformed at every level. For Anne*, an alumna from Ethiopia, the program provided the opportunity to connect with others, and change how she saw herself.

“Before [Enroot], I was very shy. I was very afraid to speak in public, because I thought I was going to make a mistake. I used to keep to myself, but [Enroot] broke that boundary.”

Empowered by the program, Anne was no longer afraid to speak up.

“She’s a real go-getter, and she’s not afraid of being successful,” said her mentor. “There’s a reason why students at the high school seek the program out.”

Anne was inducted into the National Honor Society in her junior year at Cambridge Rindge and Latin School and elected Captain of her varsity track team. With the support of her mentor, she secured a full scholarship to a prestigious liberal arts college. Anne graduated high school in 2015, and is now in her junior year of college. She dreams of being an engineer and using her professional career to change the world.

*Name changed

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments


CEO/Executive Director Mr. Ben Clark
CEO Term Start Nov 2013
CEO Email
CEO Experience

Ben joined the Enroot team as Executive Director after spending most of his career working in international development. Most recently, as Director of Organizational Development for Teach For All, he collaborated closely with the leadership of Teach For All network programs in the Middle East, Asia, and Europe to build high performing, sustainable organizations and set solid foundations for scaling. Prior to joining Teach For All, Ben was Principal Manager for Global Programs at ACCION International where he helped manage a portfolio of technical assistance projects aimed at improving performance at microfinance institutions throughout Africa, Latin America, and Asia. Before joining ACCION Ben implemented agribusiness projects in rural Panamanian communities as a Peace Corps Volunteer and worked in marketing for a global Fortune 500 company. Ben holds undergraduate degrees in International Relations and Sociology from Principia College and a Masters in Public Policy from Harvard Kennedy School. Over the past five years, Ben has led Enroot through a number of strategic plans: a re-brand from Cambridge Community Services to Enroot, an expansion into Somerville, and significantly growing the number of students served. 

Co-CEO --
Co-CEO Term Start --
Co-CEO Email --
Co-CEO Experience --

Former CEOs and Terms

Name Start End
-- -- --

Senior Staff

Name Title Experience/Biography
Sandra Cañas Cambridge Program Director

For more than 25 years Sandra Cañas has dedicated her life to working with immigrant high school youth in Cambridge, MA. Starting in 1992, Sandra built the then "City Links" program from the ground up, which is a testament to her dedication to serving immigrant youth by helping them assimilate into American society while preparing for college and career.

Sandra has a broad range of experience coordinating volunteers, experience as a teacher and curriculum developer. She taught Spanish Literature courses at Cambridge Rindge and Latin School, was a parent coordinator for the Cambridge Public Schools Bilingual Program, and served as coordinator of the Women's Refugee Program at Centro Presente; Sandra is a former member of the Governor's Advisory Council for Refugees and Immigrants, the School Council of the Cambridge Rindge School of Technical Arts, the Board of Directors of Centro Presente, and the Kid's Council of the City of Cambridge. She has also coordinated and led educational and service learning groups of students and teachers to various Latin American countries including El Salvador, Cuba, the Dominican Republic and Guatemala.

Sandra, a native of El Salvador, has made the United States her home for the last 28 years.

Dananai Morgan Director of Development & Strategic Initiatives

Now an American citizen, Dananai was born and raised in the southern African country of Zimbabwe. Prior to coming to the United States, Dananai studied Law and Sociology in South Africa where her career in International Development was launched at the High Commissioner's Office.

Dananai brings an extensive background in fundraising, and has worked for organizations such as CARE International in the United Kingdom, National Youth Development Council and First Teacher in Boston. In addition to her work with nonprofits, Dananai has worked in higher education at both MIT and Harvard.


Award Awarding Organization Year
-- -- --


Affiliation Year
-- --
Member of state association of nonprofits? Yes
Name of state association Massachusetts Nonprofit Network

External Assessments and Accreditations

External Assessment or Accreditation Year
-- --


Enroot’s commitment to collaboration is evidenced by its leadership as a Steering Committee member of the Cambridge College Success Initiative and Cambridge Nonprofit Coalition, and active participation as a member of the Family Policy Council, Reaching All Youth group, and STEAM Working Group. After being a key player in the early iteration of the STEAM Internship Working Group in 2014, we are excited to participate in the re-launched version of this group. While only in our second year of program operation in Somerville, we have taken an active role in several community groups including the Somerville Youth Workers Network, the Out of School Learning Subcommittee through SHS Envisioning the Future Project, and the Somerville Sanctuary City Steering Committee. All of these committees and working groups are composed of nonprofits organizations and some include participation from local government entities. Collaborations with other local nonprofits have enabled Enroot to both improve the quality of programming for students and also add to efforts to improve opportunities more broadly in both cities. For example, just over the past year, we have worked with Food for Free to provide healthy after school snacks, the Student Immigration Movement to lead student empowerment storytelling workshops, and Boston Area Rape Crisis Center (BARCC) to facilitate conversations about healthy relationships and consent. Our students intern at dozens of nonprofits throughout Cambridge and Somerville, contributing to their success and learning valuable professional skills. We were also just selected to participate in Biogen's STAR initiative which will involve collaborating with other local nonprofits to develop aligned performance measurement metrics in regards to out-of school time STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) experiences for our students.

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments

Foundation Comments


Staff Information

Number of Full Time Staff 5
Number of Part Time Staff 3
Number of Volunteers 175
Number of Contract Staff 2
Staff Retention Rate % 87%

Staff Demographics

Ethnicity African American/Black: 1
Asian American/Pacific Islander: 0
Caucasian: 4
Hispanic/Latino: 2
Native American/American Indian: 0
Other: 0
Other (if specified): --
Gender Female: 6
Male: 1
Not Specified 0

Plans & Policies

Organization has Fundraising Plan? Yes
Organization has Strategic Plan? Yes
Years Strategic Plan Considers 4
Management Succession Plan No
Business Continuity of Operations Plan No
Organization Policies And Procedures Yes
Nondiscrimination Policy Yes
Whistle Blower Policy Yes
Document Destruction Policy Yes
Directors and Officers Insurance Policy --
State Charitable Solicitations Permit Yes
State Registration Yes

Risk Management Provisions


Reporting and Evaluations

Management Reports to Board? Yes
CEO Formal Evaluation and Frequency Yes Annually
Senior Management Formal Evaluation and Frequency Yes Quarterly
Non Management Formal Evaluation and Frequency Yes Quarterly


Board Chair Ms. Allyson Allen
Board Chair Company Affiliation City of Cambridge’s Department of Human Service Programs
Board Chair Term Apr 2018 - June 2019
Board Co-Chair --
Board Co-Chair Company Affiliation --
Board Co-Chair Term -

Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
Ms. Allyson Allen City of Cambridge, Office of Workforce Development Voting
Mr. Ben Clark Cambridge Community Services Exofficio
Mrs. Deborah Downes Community Volunteer, Retired Cambridge Public Schools Employee Voting
Ms. Ellena Friedman ECF Associates LLC Voting
Mr. Tri Ho Sensata Technologies Voting
Mrs. Helen Jackson Retired Voting
Ms. Kristi Jobson Law Clerk, for the Honorable Patti B. Saris, Chief Judge of the District of Massachusetts Voting
Mr. Jonathan E. Paul Harvard University Voting
Mrs. Mary Pat Prado Community Volunteer Voting
Mr. Joeseph Sequira Massachusetts General Hospital Voting
Mr. Jonathan Steiman TalkTo Voting

Constituent Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
-- -- --

Youth Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
-- -- --

Advisory Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
-- -- --

Board Demographics

Ethnicity African American/Black: 1
Asian American/Pacific Islander: 3
Caucasian: 7
Hispanic/Latino: 0
Native American/American Indian: 0
Other: 0
Other (if specified): --
Gender Female: 8
Male: 7
Not Specified 0

Board Information

Board Term Lengths 3
Board Term Limits --
Board Meeting Attendance % --
Written Board Selection Criteria Yes
Written Conflict Of Interest Policy Yes
Percentage of Monetary Contributions 100%
Percentage of In-Kind Contributions 75%
Constituency Includes Client Representation Yes

Standing Committees

  • Development / Fund Development / Fund Raising / Grant Writing / Major Gifts
  • Executive
  • Finance
  • Personnel
  • Program / Program Planning

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments

Enroot is overseen by an enthusiastic and dedicated Board of Directors. Chair Allyson Allen has served the organization as Board Secretary and as a thought partner in programming. She is supported by Vice-Chair Jon Steiman, an experienced Board member with more than 7 years of service. The Board conducts its work through four committees - an Executive Committee in charge of governance and executive oversight, a Program and Personnel Committee tasked with overseeing programmatic effectiveness and personnel issues, a Development Committee focused on fundraising, and a Finance Committee focused on responsible management of the organization's assets. Enroot's Board of Directors meets on a bi-monthly basis, including an Annual Meeting each April to elect Board officers. Committees meet on the 'off months', between full Board meetings.

Foundation Comments



Revenue vs. Expense ($000s)

Expense Breakdown 2017 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2016 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2015 (%)

Fiscal Year July 01, 2018 to June 30, 2019
Projected Income $1,326,296.00
Projected Expense $1,185,659.00
Form 990s

2017 Form 990

2016 Form 990

2015 Form 990

2014 Form 990

2013 Form 990

2012 Form 990

2011 Form 990

Audit Documents

2017 Audit

2016 Audit

2015 Audit

2014 Audit

2013 Audit

2012 Audit

2011 Audit

IRS Letter of Exemption

IRS Letter of Determination

Prior Three Years Total Revenue and Expense Totals

Fiscal Year 2017 2016 2015
Total Revenue $1,075,924 $813,624 $609,362
Total Expenses $937,562 $799,560 $748,267

Prior Three Years Revenue Sources

Fiscal Year 2017 2016 2015
Foundation and
Corporation Contributions
-- -- --
Government Contributions $144,550 $78,550 $87,058
    Federal -- -- --
    State -- -- --
    Local -- -- --
    Unspecified $144,550 $78,550 $87,058
Individual Contributions $283,679 $175,597 $100,869
Indirect Public Support -- -- --
Earned Revenue $215,256 $207,533 $154,664
Investment Income, Net of Losses $145,681 $89,434 $74,556
Membership Dues -- -- --
Special Events -- -- --
Revenue In-Kind $286,758 $247,845 $192,215
Other -- $14,665 --

Prior Three Years Expense Allocations

Fiscal Year 2017 2016 2015
Program Expense $769,206 $659,558 $565,580
Administration Expense $76,593 $77,235 $103,280
Fundraising Expense $91,763 $62,767 $79,407
Payments to Affiliates -- -- --
Total Revenue/Total Expenses 1.15 1.02 0.81
Program Expense/Total Expenses 82% 82% 76%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue 21% 25% 42%

Prior Three Years Assets and Liabilities

Fiscal Year 2017 2016 2015
Total Assets $2,144,246 $2,010,075 $2,013,349
Current Assets $620,851 $570,465 $241,592
Long-Term Liabilities $5,618 $5,618 $4,598
Current Liabilities $24,133 $28,324 $46,682
Total Net Assets $2,114,495 $1,976,133 $1,962,069

Prior Three Years Top Three Funding Sources

Fiscal Year 2017 2016 2015
1st (Source and Amount) -- --
-- --
-- --
2nd (Source and Amount) -- --
-- --
-- --
3rd (Source and Amount) -- --
-- --
-- --

Financial Planning

Endowment Value $1,976,133.00
Spending Policy Percentage
Percentage(If selected) 5.0%
Credit Line No
Reserve Fund Yes
How many months does reserve cover? 3.00

Capital Campaign

Are you currently in a Capital Campaign? No
Capital Campaign Purpose --
Campaign Goal --
Capital Campaign Dates -
Capital Campaign Raised-to-Date Amount --
Capital Campaign Anticipated in Next 5 Years? --

Short Term Solvency

Fiscal Year 2017 2016 2015
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities 25.73 20.14 5.18

Long Term Solvency

Fiscal Year 2017 2016 2015
Long-term Liabilities/Total Assets 0% 0% 0%

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments

Enroot's Board of Directors approved strategic use of endowment funds beyond the typical spending rule during FY16 and FY17 to support preparation for and execution of expansion to Somerville.

Secondly, of note in the supplied project and organization budget (for FY17), we have netted out building revenue. 
Lastly, in the interest of presenting as clear a portrait of our organization as possible, I wish to draw your attention to the fact that several lines in past recent audits and 990 tax returns (prior to FY14) do not accurately represent our agency. When Enroot (then Cambridge Community Services) hired a new auditor to conduct our FY14 audit (concluded in late December 2014), they brought our attention several items that had not been appropriately recorded in our FY13 audit  (or previous audits) which distorted the financial picture.

In particular, the financial statements for FY2013 do not present the costs of the building in an accurate or favorable position, as expenses for operating our Building were included in Supporting Services, greatly distorting the percentage of Program vs. Supporting costs The majority of those costs are more appropriately netted against the rental revenue, rather than presented as a supporting service, which skews the percentage of program vs. admin/fund raising expenses in an unfavorable ratio. 

Foundation Comments

Financial summary data in the charts and graphs above is per the organization's audited financials. Contributions from foundations and corporations are listed under individuals when the breakout was not available.
Please note, this organization changed its name with the IRS in 2016 from Cambridge Community Services to Enroot Inc.


Other Documents

No Other Documents currently available.


The Impact tab is a section on the Giving Common added in October 2013; as such the majority of nonprofits have not yet had the chance to complete this voluntary section. The purpose of the Impact section is to ask five deceptively simple questions that require reflection and promote communication about what really matters – results. The goal is to encourage strategic thinking about how a nonprofit will achieve its goals. The following Impact questions are being completed by nonprofits slowly, thoughtfully and at the right time for their respective organizations to ensure the most accurate information possible.

1. What is your organization aiming to accomplish?

Community Need:

College degree holders earn nearly $1 million more in a lifetime than those without degrees in the US. Yet only 1 in 10 individuals from low-income families have a college degree. The achievement gap grows even more significant when factoring in the additional linguistic and cultural challenges that immigrant students face. “Limited-English-Proficiency” (LEP) students are the state’s lowest performing cohort, with the lowest rate of MCAS achievement. The achievement gap is significant in Cambridge, with LEP students showing the lowest on-time high school graduation rate.

Enroot supports this population by directing a rigorous and holistic out-of-school-time program. Recruited from the English-Language-Learner department (ELL) at CRLS, over 75% of Enroot students are low-income, and all will be the first in their families to attend an American university. Throughout the program’s 2-3 year arc, students:

  1. Improve academic performance;

  2. Demonstrate a greater sense of community and belonging, self-confidence and advocacy;

  3. Develop a clear and inspiring pathway for higher education and career;

  4. Build a marketable skill set through real-world, paid internships;

  5. Graduate high school prepared to successfully transition to and graduate from post-secondary education.

2. What are your strategies for making this happen?

Program Model: Enroot has multiple entry-points, depending on a student's English-Language proficiency, and a potential 2-4 year arc. Students with the lowest levels of English-language-proficiency are enrolled in the Explore Program during their first or second year in the country before graduating to the extremely rigorous Leadership Program with its full wrap-around support.

Explore Program: Students are provided individualized case management, attend weekly workshops, and are matched with a 1-1 adult volunteer mentor. During weekly facilitated  meetings and workshops with their students, mentors focus on college access, community engagement, and career exploration, while reinforcing English-language skills. Personal, professional, and academic guidance from a supportive, caring adult, especially for this at-risk population, keeps students in school and on track for success.

“A mentor doesn’t have to have the same perspective as you or be like you to give you good advice; she just needs to understand your situation. What I like best about my mentor is that she always pushes me to strive for excellence whether it’s academic or not.” - Program Alumna from Haiti, CRLS Class of 2016, Clark University Class of 2020

Leadership Program: The more rigorous Leadership Program involves nearly 15 hours of programming each week, extending the learning day by 50%. Program components include: 1-1 mentoring, professional internships, 1-1 academic tutoring, community service projects, a weekly seminar on civic engagement, workforce readiness, and leadership development, as well as optional STEM learning opportunities, like coding classes.

Senior Workshops: Seniors in both programs attend additional ‘Senior Workshops’ with their volunteer mentors, designed to ensure a successful transition from high school to college. Lastly, a select group of seniors are chosen as “Peer Leaders,” acting as mentors, role models, and guides to their peers.
Post-Secondary Success CoachingEnroot is in the process of piloting a post-secondary success program designed to support  students in our program beyond high school into their first two years of post-secondary education. Our newly hired Manager of Post-Secondary Success and Alumni Engagement will build a curriculum for our program that integrates student voice and empowers students as they navigate post-secondary education.

The challenges facing low-income immigrant students are significant. However, decades of alumni have proven that with the support and guidance of over 120 volunteer mentors, tutors, internship supervisors, and Enroot staff members, they can set ambitious life goals and achieve success.

3. What are your organization’s capabilities for doing this?

Skilled and Experienced Team Supporting Students
Enroot is uniquely positioned to address the challenges facing low-income immigrant teens. We have a talented and passionate professional staff, dedicated leadership and volunteers, and long-standing partnerships with the municipalities and public school systems. Cambridge Program Director Sandra Cañas, an El Salvadorian immigrant and Cambridge resident herself, has led the program for 24 years. Sandra is a strong, successful role model for her students, able to effectively advocate for students with teachers, guidance counselors, administrators, and families. She not only understands her students’ backgrounds, she can effectively communicate the possibilities of their futures as Enroot strives to equalize access to opportunity.

Somerville Program Director Anna Leversee is a graduate of Smith College and a Fulbright Scholar with experience teaching English in Colombia. She recently received her Interpreter’s License from Boston University and has a Certificate in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages.

Additionally, Enroot’s programs are also supported by a committed group of community volunteers, growing to 150 mentors, tutors, teachers, and internship supervisors in the coming academic year. While we see their contribution to our students’ growth and development as invaluable, figures provided by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts suggest our volunteers have donated nearly $1,000 each of their time per year, with a total in-kind contribution for the upcoming year to Enroot slated to be over $115,000.

Collaborative Partnerships
Enroot has partnered closely with the Cambridge Public Schools and the Cambridge Office of Workforce Development since the program’s inception. OWD and CPSD, along with the Cambridge Rindge and Latin School (Cambridge’s only public high school), provide financial support, in-kind office and classroom space, along with strategic guidance.

Thanks to dedicated investments by the City of Somerville, Somerville Public Schools Department, and private funders, significant enthusiasm from local organizations, and a growing partnership with the high school, we're excited to roll-out a pilot program at Somerville High School this fall. “Enroot has earned an impressive record of success working with students in Cambridge using a relational model of support that places the student and his/her unique needs front and center,” said Superintendent of Schools Mary Skipper. “Our students will benefit greatly from this new partnership and from Enroot’s demonstrated commitment to helping students gain the leadership skills that will help them achieve and succeed throughout their lives. We look forward to launching this partnership at Somerville High, and expanding on the great work that Enroot is already doing in Cambridge.”

Lastly, Enroot represents a unique opportunity for a passionate and mission-driven funder. As the owners and operators of a commercial building in the heart of Central Square, that rental income covers costs for building expenses, agency overhead, and fundraising work. Every dollar of support from individuals, government grants, foundations, and businesses directly supports the work of the program, impacting at-risk youth in the community.


4. How will your organization know if you are making progress?

 External evaluators conduct pre and post-program surveys, collect data throughout the year, and have completed an alumni program evaluation, documenting 20 years of impact. Providing such holistic programming ensures Enroot students develop language skills, excel academically, demonstrate a greater sense of community and belonging, and develop concrete professional skills, all with a greater understanding of how to navigate and thrive within the systems in our community.

Self-Confidence and Leadership Skills: While 1 in 4 youth display worrisome signs of depression and anxiety:

· 88% of students credit their mentor with increases in self-confidence

· 87% of students report discovering unique skills and talents

“Working with others would have to be the skill with the greatest impact on my life. I learned how to advocate for myself and others and I have confidence in my decisions.” – Program Alumna, Class of 2012, Colby-Sawyer College Class of 2016

College Readiness and Completion: While 21% of low-income students graduate college in 6 years:

· 41% of alumni have completed a Bachelor’s degree

· 28% of alumni are currently enrolled in a four-year degree program

· 10% of alumni more completed 2-year post-secondary education programs

“When I first joined the program… I had almost given up on my education. [Enroot] opened up a way for me and I was able to see that anything was possible if I kept doing my best and not giving up.”- Program Alumnus, Class of 2016, Massachusetts College of Arts and Design, Class of 2020

Professional Skills and Workforce Readiness: When transitioning from school to career is challenging:

· 96% of students report increased professional skills, including time management, collaboration, good communication, and networking

· 95% of worksite supervisors would re-hire their intern for a second (or more) year

“Working with others would have to be the skill with the greatest impact on my life. I learned how to advocate for myself and others and I have confidence in my decisions.” – Program Alumnus, Class of 2007, UMASS Amherst Class of 2012


5. What have and haven’t you accomplished so far?

With support from a team of pro-bono Deloitte consultants through Inspire, Enroot undertook a landscape analysis of 20-25 surrounding communities. We examined community demographics, school dynamics, student performance, current nonprofit partners, and availability of funding. From that process, 4 schools in Somerville and Boston had been selected for further research and relationship building. Over the course of 6 months, Enroot built relationships with school and city administrators, teachers, local community partners, and private funders in Boston Public Schools and Somerville Public Schools. In April of 2016, Enroot’s Board of Directors voted to approve the expansion pilot at Somerville High School, in part thanks to enthusiasm and financial investments from the Somerville Public Schools and City of Somerville. A pilot group of 20-30 students were recruited for the Somerville High School pilot site in FY17, and grew to 35 students in FY18. In FY19, Enroot plans on serving 50 students at Somerville High School.

Enroot's expansion to Somerville marks an important step for Enroot: we are now a part of a new community with the support and dedication of city official, school administrators, and teachers.  Supporting a new community has required Enroot to be agile and responsive to our students’ needs, tailoring the program’s offerings, activities, and schedule for our new partners. Our first expansion site has prompted reflection, continued goal-setting, and refinement throughout the year to ensure we are serving Enroot’s Somerville students at the highest level.

In addition to expanding beyond Cambridge, Enroot has also committed to piloting a post-secondary success program for our high school graduates in their first two years of post-secondary education in FY19. Enroot has hired a Manager of Post-Secondary and Alumni Engagement to lead on these efforts and we will support 25 students in our first year of the programming. With this program in place, we hope to increase the rate in which our students graduate from a post-secondary institution and empower our students to navigate college and career with mentors by their side.