Found in Translation Inc.

Dorchester, MA   |  www.found-in-translation.org

Mission

Found in Translation's mission is two-fold: 1.) To give bilingual women an opportunity to achieve economic security through the use of their language skills 2.) To unleash bilingual talent into the workforce to fight racial, ethnic, and linguistic disparities in health care

Ruling year info

2012

Founder and Executive Director

Ms Maria Vertkin

Main address

1532B Dorchester Ave

Dorchester, MA 02122 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

45-3302596

NTEE code info

Employment Training (J22)

Adult, Continuing Education (B60)

Minority Rights (R22)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Blog

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Found in Translation creates opportunity at the intersection of two critical problems: Women with valuable linguistic talent, especially minorities, face systemic barriers to meaningful employment such as limited ability to pay for education and lack of childcare. According to a 2018 report, 49% of all families in Boston with children under 18 were headed by a single female householder. Of these families, 48% were living in poverty. At the same time, hospitals in Boston struggle to find the bilingual talent to meet the growing demand for interpreters, leading to costly and fatal medical errors. In 2017, almost 20% of Boston's population over the age of 5 said they spoke English “less than very well” and an estimated 97% of physicians see patients with difficulties understanding English. Found in Translation is the only organization lifting bilingual women in the Boston area out of poverty while providing personnel for equitable healthcare of Limited English Proficient (LEP) patients.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Language Access Fellowship

Our Language Access Fellowship seamlessly combines Medical Interpreter Certificate training, job placement, wrap-around supportive services, and ongoing professional development to enable low-income bilingual women to achieve professional success and economic security.

The program is offered at no charge and includes:
- 100+ hours of medical interpreting instruction based on a curriculum developed at the Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Foundation
- Anatomy & Physiology taught by professional clinicians
- Advanced interpreting skills taught by local leaders in the interpreting field
- 30 hours of Language Coaching in small, language-specifc groups under the guidance of an experienced medical interpreter
- Job skills and financial literacy education
- On-site childcare, transportation assistance, and mentoring
- Apprenticeship and supportive job placement with wages from $25 to $45/hour
- Continuing education opportunities both in-house and through scholarships to external trainings

Population(s) Served
Women and girls
Immigrants and migrants

Where we work

Awards

Kip Tiernan Social Justice Fellowship 2011

Rosie's Place

Advancement Award 2013

Boston Club

Echoing Green Global Fellowship 2013

Echoing Green

Innovation Award 2013

Small Business Association of New England

World's Top 25 Educational Initiatives for Women & Girls 2012

Women Deliver

World's Top 25 Social Enterprises for Women & Girls 2013

Women Deliver

Finalist 2014

MassChallenge

Innovator for Social Justice Prize 2015

Grinnell College

Richard Cornuelle Social Entrepreneurship Award 2015

Manhattan Institute

Emerging Leaders Fund 2015

Claneil Foundation

30 Under 30 Social Entrepreneurs 2016

Forbes

40 Under 40 2016

Chronicles of Philanthropy

Fellowship 2017

Vital Voices

Women's Accelerator 2017

New Profit

Community Advocacy Award 2017

Eastern Bank

Fellowship for New Americans 2017

Paul and Daisy Soros

Roslyn S. Jaffe Award 2017

Ascena Foundation

Nonprofit Creator Award 2018

WeWork

Bridgebuilder Challenge Top Idea 2018

OpenIDEO/GHR Foundation

People's Voice Award Finalist 2019

DVF Family Foundation

Excellence in Innovation Award Finalist 2019

Massachusetts Nonprofit Network

Project Innovation Award 2020

NBCUniversal

Catalyst Program 2021

Stand Together Foundation

Excellence in Innovation Award 2021

Massachusetts Nonprofit Network

Essential Agent of Change Award 2021

MA Essentials of Childhood

Language Access Champion 2022

National Council on Interpreting in Healthcare

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Average hourly wage of clients who became employed after job skills training

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Adults, Women and girls, Economically disadvantaged people, Immigrants and migrants, Unemployed people

Related Program

Language Access Fellowship

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

This data covers average hourly wages for each Class one year after our training. 2021 data is for the 3 month mark, as 1 year data will be available in summer 2022. (There was no class of 2020.)

Number of clients who complete job skills training

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Adults, Women and girls, Economically disadvantaged people, Immigrants and migrants, Unemployed people

Related Program

Language Access Fellowship

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Not included here are alumnae from previous years returning to retake the training, or accepted students who started but did not finish in that year. (No class took place in 2020)

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

Our organizational goal is to tip the scales of opportunity across gender and ethnicity by creating an economic mobility portal that permanently upgrades the employment and earning capacity of bilingual women through a strength-based approach. In doing so, we will empower immigrant women to transform their most stigmatized characteristics—their linguistic and cultural background—from a barrier to their greatest asset in the workforce. In partnership with the women we serve, we have upgraded and improved our model every year since our launch, resulting in a best-in-class workforce development program that is high-impact, replicable, and scalable.

The health and economic devastation of the COVID-19 pandemic created unprecedented and urgent need for both trained medical interpreters and workforce development opportunities for immigrant communities. These effects will be felt for many years to come. The adaptation we are making to current conditions, both programmatically and operationally, will position us to meet the needs of the coming decade as a stronger, more efficient and scalable organization. Our ten-year plan starts with converting our award-winning Medical Interpreter Certificate Training program to a fully virtual format and helping alumnae navigate the changing interpreting job market. We will then leverage our adapted, technology-enabled program model for growth, providing training and job placement to more interpreters, and life-saving language access services to more patients in Boston and beyond.

The structural changes we are making for our mission and impact to survive will fast-track us toward growth and bigger impact. As a technology-enabled organization, we offer more flexible and accessible programming, our operations are more agile and replicable, and we are no longer bound by the geographic constraints of our original in-person model. Over the next decade, this will enable us to expand to additional sites locally, regionally and nationally, and to collaborate more effectively with partner nonprofits to offer our training and job placement to specific populations, e.g. Indigenous language interpreters.

Approximately 20% of the US population is bilingual, and 8% is Limited English-Proficient. Found in Translation has found a way to simultaneously serve these two growing and interdependent populations. At scale, we have the potential to make a significant and permanent shift in the way economic opportunity and health equity are distributed across race, gender, and ethnicity.

Our innovative and award-winning approach represents a paradigm-shift in thinking about workforce development: we see that some of the most highly-demanded skills exist in a population that is often overlooked (poor and homeless immigrant women) because of prejudice and systemic barriers. By training low-income and homeless bilingual women as professional medical interpreters, we tilt the scales of economic opportunity across race, ethnicity, and gender. As medical interpreters our graduates advance equality in healthcare access, improve patient outcomes, and save lives in their communities. Further, they reduce healthcare costs and save taxpayer dollars by preventing medical errors and inefficiencies.

Found in Translation’s flagship Language Access Fellowship Medical Interpreter Certificate Training and Job Placement program integrates Medical Interpreter Certificate training, professional development, job placement, and holistic support, enabling women to succeed in the program and in the interpreting profession. The Fellowship program includes:

Medical Interpreter Certificate Training: Designed for low-income women, the course includes common-sense support (on-site childcare and transportation assistance) 140+ hours of medical interpreting instruction, tech literacy, job readiness training, mentoring, and a commitment to each participant to address any barrier in the way of her success.

Career Advancement: Provides all alumnae with year-round support job searching,
advanced skill building, and accessing next-level credentials in the interpreting industry. Our Alumnae Association meets monthly to engage with and provide professional development
to our graduates. Graduates share job-hunting knowledge known only to insiders of the field,
and recommend each other to their own employers.

Interpreter services: Employs graduates to fulfill interpreter requests from community partners, providing high quality language access to communities across Boston. Alumnae earn high wages quickly, and improve their career prospects by developing the experience needed to access stable hospital jobs. Interpreters are paid $25 - $45 per hour.

Teacher Training Track: Supports graduates with ambitions to teach interpreting, and works to anticipate our need for more instructors in the future. 90% of current faculty are our own graduates. To our knowledge, we are the only interpreter training program that has formalized this process.

Our Language Access Fellowship program transforms participants into agents of change, helping them to move from the margins of society into positions that enable them to increase their quality of life, achieve economic security and give back to their own communities.

Each year we harness the strength of 10 FT employees, ~25 contractors and part-time employees, and over 50 volunteers. Our curriculum is taught by professionals in the medical and interpreting fields - the majority of whom are now our own alumnae. In 2021, 90% of our faculty were our own graduates. These instructors guide our students through lessons on interpreter skills, anatomy & physiology, and language-specific coaching.
We have created a self-nourishing community where new interpreters enter our program seeing living examples of where their career might take them. Volunteers support the success of our participants through career coaching and professional development, childcare, and guest lecturing. Our alumnae are our greatest resource in guiding participants at the beginning of their interpreting journeys - serving as mentors, role models, and living examples for new graduates of where their careers will take them in 1, 3, 5 or 8+ years.
Found in Translation's board of directors brings technical expertise in program design, evaluation and impact measurement and cultural competency. Our work collaborates with the local medical and business communities, as well as the nonprofit and social service sectors. Partners include: Boston Medical Center, Cambridge Health Alliance, Cross Cultural Communications, Tech Goes Home, and more.

Found in Translation measures changes collects data on graduates’ economic and professional position at intake, 3 months, 6 months, and annually post-graduation. Performance indicators include per-hour and per-month earnings, total household income, housing stability, and utilization of public assistance. We track details about employment status-- whether graduates are employed full-time, part-time, freelance, or per-diem; whether they are working as interpreters, in a related field, or in an unrelated job; whether they are building their careers via internships, volunteering, and networking, etc. To assess the number of patients served by interpreters, we evaluate survey data provided by working alumnae and data from our own in-house interpreting services. We also invite participants to give feedback on their experience, and adjust programming accordingly. Our program as it is today is a co-creation in partnership with the women we serve.

Found in Translation's proven record of success has earned us recognition as one of the most promising emerging economic mobility organizations in the country.

Found in Translation is the only organization that bridges economic mobility for low-income bilingual women with healthcare access for LEP patients serving the Boston area, and our results show that we are the best organization to carry out this work. Found in Translation has issued certificates in 37 different languages, with 62% working as interpreters or in a related field within one year of earning their certificates. Of those who were unemployed during the training, 70% found work after one year. Today, each Found in Translation alumna earns, on average, $13,000 more per year than she did before our program. Over ten years of our program, this translates to $15 million in additional income for the communities we serve. Found in Translation alumnae are currently providing language access to an estimated 35,000 patients annually through their work at Boston hospitals and as freelance or staff interpreters.

By maintaining an ongoing relationship with our graduates, and inviting their valuable input in our program design, we have co-created a workforce development program that addresses the complex needs of the women we serve. Our model of long term engagement with and among our alumnae network nurtures a growing pool of quality interpreters in the Boston area—professionals demonstrably dedicated to continuing education, with a long term commitment to the field.

Our impact also reaches beyond the individual to their families and communities. As a vibrant, highly-skilled and engaged community, our interpreters accelerate and amplify each other’s success. Our graduates are now interpreting at all of the state’s finest hospitals, including Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Mass General, and Tufts Medical Center. Some have managerial and hiring power, and open new doors for their peers. Many are working at interpreting agencies, which provide the flexibility of freelance/per-diem work. Employment with remote interpreting has allowed our graduates to work from home and maintain financial security through life changes such as a new baby, taking care of a relative, or experiencing disability or illness. Some have branched out into legal interpreting, while others have used their training to advance to non-interpreting positions in medical settings that require bilingual skills.

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • Who are the people you serve with your mission?

    We level the professional playing field for low-income bilingual women ages 18+ (the average age is 35) in the Greater Boston Area. Our program participants all self-identify as women, 49% are or have experienced homelessness in the past, and 45% are single mothers. Our alumnae represent over 50 different countries and speak 53 different languages. All participants are bilingual, and our most common languages include: Spanish, Arabic, Haitian Creole, Portuguese, Mandarin, Vietnamese, and Cape Verdean Creole.

  • How is your organization collecting feedback from the people you serve?

    Electronic surveys (by email, tablet, etc.), Focus groups or interviews (by phone or in person), Case management notes, Community meetings/Town halls,

  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify and remedy poor client service experiences, To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To identify where we are less inclusive or equitable across demographic groups, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve, To understand people's needs and how we can help them achieve their goals,

  • What significant change resulted from feedback?

    The driving force behind our innovative approach is our commitment to our program participants - to strengthening and empowering the community that has flourished over a decade. We strive to stay relevant to our alumnae’s evolving career aspirations through ongoing engagement, adjusting programming and supports to meet needs identified to us through formal and informal feedback. Over the past ten years, whenever our programming has improved, (for example, expanding beyond 3 major languages, strengthening our financial literacy curricula, updating our interpreter services payment structure, adding supports for remote interpreting, or formalizing our Teacher Training Track) it has been in direct response to feedback from our alumnae on their changing needs and growing ambitions.

  • With whom is the organization sharing feedback?

    The people we serve, Our staff, Our board, Our funders,

  • How has asking for feedback from the people you serve changed your relationship?

    Our service model as it is today is a co-creation in partnership with the women we serve, and we continue to seek out ways to empower alumnae to further influence our programming and steer the direction of the organization. Since the beginning this has been a key facet of our program staff’s job responsibilities, recognizing that the most transformational way to support the professional journeys of the alumnae community is through connecting them to each other, and using their valuable insight to inform improvements in case management and supportive services. In the coming years, we will further manifest this value through adding alumnae to our Board of Directors, and designing a staff role exclusively devoted to mobilizing the collective voice of our alumnae community in leadership.

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

    We collect feedback from the people we serve at least annually, We aim to collect feedback from as many people we serve as possible, We take steps to ensure people feel comfortable being honest with us, We look for patterns in feedback based on demographics (e.g., race, age, gender, etc.), We look for patterns in feedback based on people’s interactions with us (e.g., site, frequency of service, etc.), We engage the people who provide feedback in looking for ways we can improve in response, We act on the feedback we receive, We tell the people who gave us feedback how we acted on their feedback, We ask the people who gave us feedback how well they think we responded,

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    It is difficult to get the people we serve to respond to requests for feedback, The people we serve tell us they find data collection burdensome, Staff find it hard to prioritize feedback collection and review due to lack of time,

Financials

Found in Translation Inc.
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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Found in Translation Inc.

Board of directors
as of 05/06/2022
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Kelly Liu

Cisco

Kelly Liu

Cisco

Janet Grogan

The Mediation Group

Dr. Eric Hardt

Boston Medical Center (retired)

Lisa Walker, MPAS, PA-C

MGH Institute of Health Professions

Gaye Gentes

CCCS/Embracing Culture

Renee Cammarata Hamilton

Cambridge Health Alliance

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 1/25/2022

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
Race: White. Ethnicity: Chuvash and Jewish
Gender identity
Female, Not transgender (cisgender)
Sexual orientation
Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, or other sexual orientations in the LGBTQIA+ community
Disability status
Decline to state

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

 

Sexual orientation

Disability

We do not display disability information for organizations with fewer than 15 staff.