Found in Translation $25,000.00 Grant Recipient

Found in Translation
Found in Translation
Maria Vertkin
Founder and Executive Director
Found in Translation
Cambridge , MA

About Found in Translation

Found in Translation provides a free medical interpreter training program, job placement, and career advancement services to low-income bilingual women. Their program offers on-site childcare, transportation assistance, and mentoring.  The organization launched in September 2011, with a seed grant from the Kip Tiernam Social Justice Fellowship, an initiative of Rosie’s Place. 
The founder, Maria Vertkin, an immigrant and a social worker, had met homeless and struggling women who had valuable linguistic talents but faced systemic barriers to meaningful employment such as discrimination, limited ability to pay for further education, lack of childcare and transportation, and lack of connections to professionals to mentor and guide them. Meanwhile, hospitals in Boston struggled to find bilingual talent to meet the growing need for interpreters to serve Boston's linguistic minority population, leading to costly and even fatal medical errors. 

 Thus, Found in Translation has a two-fold mission: 
● To give bilingual women an opportunity to achieve economic security through the use of their language skills 
● To unleash bilingual talent into the workforce to fight racial, ethnic, and linguistic disparities in health care

Found in Translation's Language Access Fellowship is a program that seamlessly integrates Medical Interpreter Certificate training, professional development, job placement, and holistic supports to level the playing field for talented, driven women with limited economic resources, and enables them to succeed in the program and in the medical interpreting profession. 
The course is offered at no charge and includes common-sense supports such as on-site childcare and transportation assistance. Job skills and financial literacy curricula, mentoring, and peer support systems are integrated into the course to support the women toward professional success and economic security. After the completion of the course, graduates have the opportunity to enter into job placement and continue to receive year-round support, including career coaching and continuing education. 

For her service and dedication to the community, Maria has received several awards, and is profiled in the 2016 Chronicle of Philanthropy 40 Under 40 list, and in the 2016 Forbes 30 Under 30 Social Entrepreneurs. 

Found in Translation empowers immigrant women to transform their most stigmatized characteristic—their linguistic and cultural background—from a barrier to their greatest asset in the workforce. The direct effect on program participants ripples out through the community and to future generations.

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