One of the joys of medical interpreting has been watching my Spanish-speaking patients’ children grow and change. I witnessed some of their births and now they are teens and pre-teens. Other kids, who were elementary students at the start of my career, are now full-fledged adults.
For the most part, these kids don’t have it easy. Many of their parents have had to work hard to give them a good life in the U.S. In some cases, this means their parents work 12 hour shifts, seven days a week. Other times single moms will sell food out of their homes to make ends meet. These kids are often depended on to interpret for their parents outside the home. Statistically, eight-in-ten second generation Hispanics perceive they speak Spanish at least pretty well.
However, when it comes to my interpreting colleagues and associates, the vast majority are first-generation immigrants or native English speakers. I am sure there are psychosocial and cultural factors at play in this trend. It makes me wonder why this resource (bilingualism) readily available at home is underutilized, especially in lower income individuals.
One of the reasons I started Tica Training was to reach out to these heritage speakers. They have so much potential and I have encouraged many of them to pursue a career in medical interpreting over the years. Now, I finally have the set up to help them get started. It is an honor to be able to give back to the Hispanic community in this way.
If you are a child of an immigrant looking for a rewarding profession that doesn’t require a college degree and pays pretty well, check out my video for adults without a college degree. I cannot imagine a more fulfilling career than medical interpreting and I welcome the opportunity to help anyone interested learn more about how to get started or advance in their career.