Multilingual Connections Out in the Community

Multilingual Connections is committed to helping our clients create stronger connections with their multilingual audiencesbut we’re also committed to rolling up our sleeves and connecting with our local community. As such, we share volunteer opportunities with our team and encourage them to spend some of their work time offsite volunteering.  Here’s a summary of some recent experiences from our staff.

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Laura speaking in front of a classroom at Ask an Expert day.

Several members of the Multilingual Connections team recently took advantage of some volunteer opportunities through Junior Achievement.  This is something we are thrilled to do, since it provides a fun change of pace, gets us out of our comfort zones and allows us to play a little, all while simultaneouslyand most importantlyreaching out to our community, by providing language assistance and professional/cultural expertise.  

A few weeks ago, team members Katie (Team Lead), Mariela (Senior Project Manager), and Osvaldo (Editor) volunteered for Junior Achievement’s financial literacy program at Willard Elementary, near our Evanston office. This program introduces students to concepts like community, businesses, the workforce, saving money, citizenship and voting. Katie worked with her group on the economic concept “basic necessities”. Her class was a mix of native English-speakers and native Spanish-speakers, both of whom benefit from being part of a fully-bilingual classroom.

Osvaldo and Mariela were in charge of a slightly older, though just as diverse, class of second graders. In this class, they discussed the idea of “Our Community,” focusing on what types of jobs can be found in a community, what skills are necessary to perform those jobs, and how people get paid.

Junior Achievement did a great job at providing volunteers with guidance, resources, and materials to make everyone’s experience fun, informative, and successful (and note: they’re always looking for more bilingual volunteers!).

More recently, Raudel (Senior Project Manager) and Laura (Translator) traveled to Niles West High School to volunteer for Ask an Expert Day: A Career and Academic Content Exploration Program—a program Multilingual has participated in for years now. Both Raudel and Laura spoke to students in Spanish 101 and AP Spanish about the importance of learning foreign languages, what it’s like to be a professional translator, what it’s like to work in a translation agency, and what skills are necessary to succeed in the field. The students were extremely curious about potential careers in the language industry, asking many questions along the way and sharing information about their own language and cultural backgrounds. The students were also very curious about Laura’s recent move to the US from Spain.

This was a great experience for our team members, and most importantly, it was a valuable experience for the students.  The little ones learned important concepts in Spanish, while the high school students had the opportunity to learn about professional language services, the growing demand for linguists in the world, how the industry is evolving and changing, and how young people like them, who are bilingual and bicultural, can fit in and potentially begin a career in the exciting field of translation.

We look forward to more opportunities to be out and about in the community!