It is sometimes hard to describe the diversity in adult education; in one class, you could meet future nurses, construction workers, business leaders, and teachers of all ages, races, and genders. Our students come from 21 countries. Their prior education is also as diverse;116 of our learners have advanced degrees and 124 have high school degrees from their native countries.
At Metro North ABE, our role is to identify learners' assets and skills and enhance them. As degree holders with bilingual experience, many of our students already act as interpreters and translators in their communities. This spring, we offered a class and internship to help learners realize the potential for a career in translating and interpreting.
Learners enrolled in a two-week class to learn workplace skills and then had the opportunity to enroll in an internship, providing interpreter and translation services for Metro North ABE and Anoka Hennepin School District. The interns worked directly with Anoka-Hennepin's English Language (EL) Cultural Liaisons, Kari Xiong-Carlson and Victoria Campoverde, who provided guidance and strategies for working with multilingual families. Kari stated, "each intern has such an incredible story of resilience. It was an absolute joy to collaborate with our interns. They have so much drive, passion, and commitment to supporting diverse, multilingual communities."
Nazly, an intern who is working on completing her GED after she completed high school in Iran, applied to the program saying, ”When I came to the U.S. I didn't know English, I needed someone to translate for me and help me to communicate with people and organizations. This internship will help me to be useful to people who are new here, to help them for better communication.”
After the internship, learners continue on a path to a certificate in translation and interpreting. Each saw how a translator and interpreter certificate could enhance their job prospects, whether their careers are in nursing, security, or education.