When I joined the team at Found in Translation just over seven years ago, we were a staff of three operating out of our tiny shared office in Cambridge, led by our inimitable Founder and Executive Director, Maria Vertkin. Found in Translation had just celebrated the graduation of our fourth class of Language Access Fellows, the Class of 2015, who were well on their way to breaking ground into the interpreting field. Fast forward to today, and it is remarkable to reflect on how far the organization has come.
2022 was a particularly momentous year for Found in Translation. This year, we expanded to two cycles per year, welcomed our 11th class of interpreters, and saw our passionate and talented alumnae community grow to over 300 members. The small but mighty team of three that I joined in 2015 reached 13 this year, spread out in five different states across the country. We made much needed investments in our data infrastructure by launching a Salesforce implementation, and worked to fine tune a hybrid model for our programming.
Most notably, 2022 also marks the end of an era, as Maria is leaving Found in Translation after 11 years of dedicated service. Maria has been an incredible leader, mentor and friend to so many of us over the years, and is leaving big shoes to fill. After building this organization from the ground up, she has left us in a strong position to manage this transition. The search for our next ED is being led by a collaborative committee of staff, alumnae and board members who have risen to the challenge, and we are optimistic about this next chapter in Found in Translation’s story. I am grateful to Maria, as well as our staff, board and alums, who have been so thoughtful, flexible and supportive throughout this transition process.
It has been a privilege to witness the growth that Found in Translation and our Language Access Fellows have achieved over the years, and to know this success could not have been achieved without our community of supporters. I hope you’ll enjoy reading on to learn more about what we’ve been up to!
Interim Executive Director
In the midst of these exciting transitions, we welcome you to join us in celebrating Maria’s legacy and investing in the future of our community.
2022 – the Year of Two Classes
For the first time in our history, Found in Translation hosted two classes in one year. Our Spring Class of 2022 ran from April to August, and our Fall Class of 2022 began just two months later in October and is set to finish in February 2023. Together, these classes add 37 women to our community, and will provide language access in 9 languages through their future work as interpreters.
Increased Opportunities for a Growing Alumnae Community
Our alumnae are now over 300 in number! In 2022, Found in Translation continued to support and advance in their careers in diverse ways such as:
- Expanded job opportunities through our Interpreting and Translation Services. Over the last year our interpreters have completed over 350 assignments for 29 clients (and counting!) including new partners such as the YW Boston, MA Essentials for Childhood, the Harvard Immigration and Refugee Clinical Program, and Compass Working Capital. In 2022 we continued to expand our translation offerings, which now comprise close to 30% of our assignment opportunities for alumnae.
- Resources, guidance and encouragement to study and pass the rigorous National Certification exams. In the past year 10 alumnae interpreters have earned this advanced credential!
- Advanced skills training, financial wellness resources and digital literacy support. 2022 programming included our annual Simultaneous Interpreting workshop series (adapted to cover using the simultaneous interpreting tool on Zoom), as well as seminars on tax preparation, customized digital skills training, and more.
Medical Interpreter Certificate Training – now accepting applications year round!
In 2022 we made adaptations allowing us to process applications on a rolling basis. This means potential students no longer need to wait until our next cycle to submit their application to our free program. We are currently reviewing applications for our Spring 2023 class on a first come, first served basis until our class is full. All languages are welcome, and we encourage those interested in participating in our training next spring to apply as soon as possible.
Spotlight: Firsts for Found in Translation in 2022
- Our Spring 2022 class included our first Dari interpreter! Since earning her certificate, Adeeba has returned to the Fall class as a language coach and is now supporting another group of Dari students.
- This summer we hosted our first in-person community building programming since the pandemic began! Current students had the chance to not just meet each other in person, but also meet alumnae and staff.
- For the first time we are partnering with Care.com and Sitters for Scholars! These organizations are now providing off-site childcare resources for students in our program.
- In 2022 we celebrated our first alumnae serving as lead instructors for the medical interpreter training! In addition to leading our Spring and Fall students through our curriculum, Sara Paiva ‘18 and Juliana Cardona ‘19 are also now supporting additional faculty on their journeys towards becoming lead instructors.
Expanded Visibility in the Medical Interpreting Field
In April, Found in Translation was awarded with the Language Access Champion award by the National Council on Interpreting in Healthcare.
In June, board members and staff presented a session on fair working conditions for interpreters at the annual Paving the Way to Healthcare Access conference.
In November, we hosted our annual virtual job fair for medical interpreters, a free event on our website which connected 24 regional and international employers with 298 job seekers from 34 countries – including many of our own alumnae!
To strengthen and sustain all of the exciting innovations and growth of this year, Found in Translation has invested in additional staff and data infrastructure.
This fall we have added two more positions to our team: Lauren Flatley is now supporting our growing alumnae network as our Career Advancement Coordinator, and Patience Corbett has joined our fundraising and data management efforts as our Data and Development Assistant. Click on the photos below to read their full bios.
In 2022, Found in Translation passed a huge milestone and finally began the exciting journey of designing and building a custom Salesforce database to house our program and fundraising data and operations. As of December, the majority of the system has been built by our consultants at Vera Solutions in collaboration with staff. We will be carrying out further testing, training, and process transitions throughout the first half of 2023.
All of this growth is possible thanks to you – our volunteers, donors and supporters. Your engagement and resources provided critical support when it was most needed.
We are especially proud to expand our network of support this year with contributions from many new partners including the Jack and Kathy Shields Foundation, the Llewellyn Foundation, and the Aura Cacia Positive Change Project as well as multi-year investments from the Clowes Fund and the Florian O. Bartlett Trust, Bank of America, N.A., Trustee.