We are still here because of you – 2020 in Review

As COVID-19 cases surge and exacerbate existing health disparities, and economic instability threatens the lives and livelihoods of women and immigrants – the need Found in Translation is greater than ever. Fuel the work of 2021 today by giving a year-end gift, and help us meet our goal of raising $2021 by December 31st. Every dollar makes a difference. Thank you!

As 2020 comes to a close, Found in Translation is proud of…

…our staff for keeping community while keeping a distance. Despite operating remotely since March, our team has continued to stay connected through technology, checking in on each other, offering support and celebrating accomplishments virtually.

9th Birthday Celebration (September)

…all the time and effort of our team, faculty and volunteers dedicated to pivoting our next training to be delivered online, and to carrying out the selection of the Class of 2021 entirely virtually.

…the rapid-response efforts of our program staff to support alumnae this spring/summer as COVID-19 affected daily life, health, jobs and security.

…the many places our work has been featured throughout the year, from WGBH to podcasts and virtual conferences.

Karen Walker presenting on behalf of Found in Translation at the IEO Conference (December)

the adaptations and expansion of our Interpreter Services. Despite major disruptions in the spring and summer, our transition to providing video and remote phone interpreting and translation assignments has grown our client base such that we now have regular recurring assignments with several partners, including BARCC, the Rian Immigrant Center, and Community Servings. We are even now a vendor for the city of Worcester! 

…the overwhelming support of our extended network of donors, community partners and funders during a year of uncertainty and change. Throughout this year, our donors and existing funders swiftly stepped up and provided critical funding as we navigated the COVID-19 crisis and set in motion plans for our first online training. Joining them in recognizing the importance of our work were a group of new funding partners, including recent support from the Mabel Louise Riley Foundation, the Tomforhrde Foundation, and the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Advancement.

Found in Translation recognized at the Mayor’s Office For Immigrant Advancement event “We Are Boston” (November)

As our programming shifted and adapted to meet the moment, our community partners not only played a key role in digital recruitment efforts but also connected us to resources for students and alumnae. A special thank you to Cross Cultural Communications for recently granting us specially discounted materials and licensing training for our upcoming Class of 2021.

CCC textbooks to be used by the Class of 2021

…our team growth! In 2020, our team grew by five as we added new staff in key program and development roles. We would like to extend a special welcome to Cristina Silva (Development Assistant) and Julia Hickey (Grant Writer), who came aboard in recent months. Click here to read their bios.

Cristina Silva
Julia Hickey

Most of all, we are proud of our alumnae for all of the ways they have supported each other and their communities through this year. From interpreting for those applying for benefits to delivering groceries and babysitting for essential workers, nearly half of alumnae surveyed this summer reported volunteering to assist others during this challenging time. Alumnae have also referred each other for jobs and sent Found in Translation resources to share. 

In addition, we are proud of the strength and resiliency of our alumnae serving on the frontlines of COVID-19, working in person or remotely to provide life-saving language access, healthcare, and other essential services to our community.

Perette Durandis ’16
Stephanie Cruz ’17

Found in Translation is showing up for our community by …

…preparing for our first ever online interpreter training, the Class of 2021! Selected this fall, our class is set to begin at the end of January and run through May. For increased flexibility and engagement, students have been split into three smaller cohorts and will balance live instruction and pre-recorded lessons and readings. The Class of 2021 will include 36 new students, as well as 11 previously accepted students who were unable to complete the program due to life circumstances but are now able to retake the training in a new online format. All together 13 languages are represented in this class, including Swahili, Khmer and Urdu.

…building an online resource hub for our participants. Our online learning management system will not just support our remote interpreter certificate training, but over time it will also include continuing education modules and resource libraries for alumnae to access 24/7 to keep their skills up to date.

…designing a more structured training experience for alumnae faculty, which will provide greater opportunities for mentorship, feedback and ongoing support as new faculty take on different roles and increased responsibilities in a virtual classroom. We also are preparing experienced faculty to undergo licensing processes in order to carry out the curriculum elsewhere and in the future. We are proud to share that for the upcoming Class of 2021, 88% of instructors are Found in Translation graduates, with two serving in dual-roles.

…connecting participants to resources, opportunities, and jobs in the emerging remote interpreting and translation markets. This includes increased opportunities for remote job placement through our Interpreter Services, as well as supportive services in acquiring relevant equipment and skills to keep up with an increasingly digitized field. 

Looking ahead to 2021, Found in Translation is reflecting on…

…the extent of the impact that COVID-19 has had on our alumnae, and what it will mean for our work moving forward. Surveys conducted this summer show that 71% of alumnae felt a negative impact on their employment or household income. This includes 32% reporting reduced hours at work – many due to cancellations of in-person appointments and closures of certain businesses. 44% of alumnae are now working from home some or all of the time, and 14% report not feeling safe going to work because of COVID-19. Our community has strongly felt the impact of closed schools and daycare, with 50% of alumnae taking on increased caregiving responsibilities at home, resulting in at least 15% leaving jobs in order to do so. We continue to monitor and support each graduate in her unique circumstances, and are hopeful that the vaccine and continued growth of the remote interpreting profession will assist our graduates in not just recovering but thriving in the months ahead.

…the future of the interpreting industry in a post-COVID world, including how the release of the 2020 Census data will impact language demand locally and nationally. 

…how we can build on our commitment this summer to become explicitly antiracist in everything we do, to be more vocal about social injustice, to challenge silence in the social sector and to teach anti-racism in a multinational immigrant-inclusive context

…the idea of access, and how our remote programming will permanently change our training and supportive services. 

…our 10th anniversary in September, mapping out our next decade as we analyze the trajectory of our first. 

Thank you for your support and for helping us get to the 2020 finish line. We wish you a happy and safe holiday season!