By Paul Levy
First Posted at Not Running a Hospital on 3/8/2013
Last fall, I wrote about Found in Translation, an organization with a terrific dual purpose: “To help homeless and low-income multilingual women to achieve economic security through the use of their language skills; and to reduce ethnic, racial, and linguistic disparities in health care by unleashing bilingual talent into the workforce”. Now, CEO and founder Maria Vertkin sends an update of their activities and asks for some help:
I am happy to say that 12 of the 19 women who graduated from our pilot program in April 2012 have since found employment (6 of them as medical interpreters or in a similar position), compared with only 2 employed at the start of the program. While this is great, we are hard at work to get closer to 100% of our grads getting employed within one year of graduation. Cambridge Health Alliance has agreed to take in our graduated into their medical interpreting internship program, with the possibility of hiring them thereafter. We’ve also recently entered into a partnership with a free clinic run by Tufts medical students, where 3 of our graduates are now employed part-time as medical interpreters. This clinic serves some of Boston’s most vulnerable patients who have never able had professional interpreting before. And, of course, we are thrilled to be building a direct pipeline from our program to jobs. Our second class will graduate this month, and two have already received job offers pending graduation.
When people hear about our successes, they are usually surprised to hear that we are, in a way, homeless. We’ve accomplished all this working out of borrowed rooms and Paneras. But the need for our program is overwhelming. We received almost 200 applications for 30 spaces in our second training, and have gotten over a dozen requests to bring our program to other communities both locally and as far away as Kenya. We are poised for growth, and our next step will be getting an office/classroom space of our own. We’ve launched a campaign on IndieGoGo to accomplish this. Here’s the link.