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Found in Translation Inc.

 649 Massachusetts Avenue, Suite 6
 Cambridge, MA 02139
[P] (617) 9904576
[F] --
www.found-in-translation.org
[email protected]
Maria Vertkin
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INCORPORATED: 2011
 Printable Profile (Summary / Full)
EIN 45-3302596

LAST UPDATED: 04/23/2015
Organization DBA --
Former Names --
Organization received a competitive grant from the Boston Foundation in the past five years No

Summary

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Mission StatementMORE »

  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

Mission Statement

  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


FinancialsMORE »

Fiscal Year Sept 01, 2014 to Aug 31, 2015
Projected Income $445,000.00
Projected Expense $380,000.00

ProgramsMORE »

  • Language Access Fellowship

Revenue vs. Expense ($000s)

Expense Breakdown 2013 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2012 (%)

Expense Breakdown (%)

No data available

For more details regarding the organization's financial information, select the financial tab and review available comments.


Overview

Mission Statement

  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


Background Statement

Found in Translation was founded by social worker and immigrant Maria Vertkin, who was inspired by the realization that poor communities are rich in bilingual talent. She set out to help low-income and homeless bilingual women to turn their language skills into professional success and economic security as they become changemakers in their communities by providing health care access to vulnerable LEP (Limited English Proficiency) patients.

With a seed grant from the Kip Tiernan Social Justice Fellowship, an initiative of Rosie’s Place, Found in Translation launched in September 2011 and hit the ground running. By December 2011, Found in Translation had designed a pilot; assembled a board of directors; mobilized 40 volunteers; formed collaborations in the non-profit, corporate, and medical sectors; and received an overwhelming 164 program applications. With just 21 seats in the class, overnight Found in Translation became nation’s most competitive Medical Interpreter Certificate training program. After a rigorous selection process, the first cohort of bilingual women began their journeys toward fulfilling careers in medical interpreting in January 2012.
 
Fast forward three years to 2015: Found in Translation has achieved remarkable outcomes, improved those outcomes every year, and established itself as an emerging leader in workforce development and economic mobility. Its innovation and effectiveness have attracted media attention (e.g. Boston Herald, on JAMN 94.5, Huffington Post) and awards, among them:
 
  • 2013 Echoing Green Fellowship

  • 2013 World's Top 25 Social Enterprises for Women and Girls (WomenDeliver25)

  • 2013 New England Innovation Award (SBANE)

  • 2013 Advancement Award (The Boston Club)

  • 2012 World’s Top 25 Educational Initiatives for Women and Girls (WomenDeliver50)

  • 2011 Kip Tiernan Social Justice Fellowship (Rosie’s Place)

  • 2011 Women of Peace Award (Women’s Peacepower Foundation)

 
Found in Translation has served 121 women and expanded its programming beyond Medical Interpreter Certificate training to include an array of alumnae services and direct job placement via an in-house interpreter service. It takes a village to raise an interpreter, and partners such as Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Tufts Medical School, Cambridge Health Alliance, Greater Boston Legal Services, Volunteer Lawyers Project, and others help to turn Found in Translation’s vision into a reality by providing resources such as donated classroom space, pro bono technical assistance, sponsorship and funding, and job placement sponsorship and internships for Found in Translation graduates.


Impact Statement

We create opportunity at the intersection of two problems:

1) Poverty and homelessness affect women, minorities – and especially minority women – disproportionately. The poverty rate for immigrants is 50% higher than for US­-born, and women's wages are less than 80% of men's.

2) Language is a major barrier to health care and demand for medical interpreters is growing rapidly. Errors and delays resulting from language barriers are costly and sometimes deadly. Access to a professional medical interpreter is a legally-protected civil right, but the medical interpreter workforce is struggling to keep up with growing demand. This is especially true in Massachusetts, which is home to the nation’s 8th largest immigrant populations, and whose world class hospital attract discerning patients from around the globe.

Poverty is distributed unequally across race, gender, and ethnicity. As a result, bilingual talent is concentrated in poor communities. Without the money for tuition, childcare, or adequate social networks, many excellent bilingual job candidates remain trapped in a cycle of poverty while bilingual job openings go unfilled. By training low-income and homeless bilingual women as professional medical interpreters, we bring these two problems together and allow them to solve each other.

Medical interpreting has a median annual wage of $45,430 nationally and $58,990 in MA, and is the fourth fastest-growing profession in the US: jobs increased by 171% between 2002 and 2012, and are expected to increase by 46% by 2022. As medical interpreters our graduates advance equality in healthcare access, improve patient outcomes, and save lives. Further, they reduce healthcare costs and save taxpayer dollars by preventing medical errors and inefficiencies.

Three months post-graduation, in our most recent class:

  • 81% were employed (compared with 53% employed at intake)

  • 47% were employed in interpreting or a related field (compared with 13% at intake)

  • Among those employed, the average wage rose from $13.38 to $21.70 per hour -- a 63% increase in 3 months!

We are an evidence-based, data-driven organization that tracks outcomes meticulously. But we also know that our impact extends beyond monetary value or measurable results in ways that are unique to every woman:

  • Security and dignity of wages that, perhaps for the first time in her life, are commensurate with her ability and need

  • A chance to reclaim a sense of mastery and competence lost when she left her homeland

  • The opportunity to capitalize on her language knowledge, drawing on an existing strength to find a new confidence and sense of self-worth

  • An opportunity to feel connection to and take pride in her cultural and linguistic heritage rather than see it as a barrier to success


Needs Statement

Our three most pressing needs are:
  1. Multi-year program support: It costs us approximately $7,000 to transition one woman from poverty and homelessness to a well-paying, stable career in medical interpreting. In 2015, we received 385 application for only 37 seats in the class. We have been approached by communities nearby and as far away as Kenya and the UK asking us to bring our program to them. On one hand, we have an effective, highly-replicable model and feel compelled to respond to the need for our program in the Greater Boston Area and eventually in other communities. On the other hand, due to limited resources and one-year funding cycles, we hedge against our own goals, and are careful not to expand beyond our capacity. Multi-year program funding would enable us to make bold plans and take on challenges that cannot be accomplished sustainably in 12 months, such as expand to another community.

  2. Capacity-building and general operating support: As a creative, resourceful, idealistic and entrepreneurial team, we embody the concept of doing more with less. We not only carry out the work of a much larger organization, but do so with a lean 11% overhead. However, overhead literally puts a roof over our head, and as we transition out of start-up mode, achieving stability and sustainability is key to our success. Now is a critical time for us to invest in our infrastructure and build capacity. Ingenuity and thrift helped us to grow from a strong idea into a strong program; unrestricted operating and capacity-building funding will help us to grow into a strong organization.

  3. Job Placement partnerships: Foundation funding currently accounts for nearly 70% of our revenue; however, are implementing a diversified funding strategy with the goal of becoming a self-sustaining social enterprise within 3-5 years. A key focus is growing our in-house interpreter service, which provides interpretation services to the community and acts as a job placement service for our program graduates. This not only dramatically improves our graduates’ employment rates and wages, but also provides a fee-for-service revenue stream that will enable us to achieve sustainability. If you need interpretation in a medical, legal, or community setting, please contact us!


CEO Statement

While working as a social worker in the Boston area I frequently encountered women struggling to escape poverty and homelessness who had something in common: they spoke multiple languages. We know that poverty is concentrated in ethnic, racial, and linguistic minority communities, and that women are disproportionately affected. For example:

  • The poverty rate for immigrants is 50% higher than for native born residents (despite immigrants' higher participation in the workforce) (Camarota, Steven, A., Immigrants in the United States, 2000, Center for Immigration Studies.)
  • In Boston shelters, more than 40% of families identify as Hispanic/Latino (Homelessness in the City of Boston, Winter2008-2009 Annual Census report)

  • Women's wages are, on average, only 79.9% of men's wages (U.S. Labor Dept.,2009.)

Meanwhile, one of the fastest-growing professions is Medical Interpreting. Access to a medical interpreter is a legally protected right; however, the medical interpreter workforce is struggling to keep up with the growth of the immigrant population. This is especially true in the Boston area, where not only do minorities already represent more than 50% of the population, but which also attracts 12 million tourists each years, and which is home to world-class hospitals to which discerning patients flock from every corner of the world. Without adequate medical interpreting services, medical errors, misdiagnoses, delays, readmissions – and even fatalities – result.
 
The costs are not only fiscal but also ethical. As phrased by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., “Of all the forms of inequality, injustice in health is the most shocking and the most inhumane.” Multilingualism, a skill that is abundant in low-income communities and scarce in the general population, is a skill that we cannot allow to go to waste. Our work represents a paradigm-shift in thinking about diversity, employment and economic mobility, and creates opportunity at the intersection of the nation’s most pressing problems: jobs, economic disparities, and health care access and cost.
 
I attribute Found in Translation’s success in large part to two factors: 1) our simultaneously highly-focused and holistic model, and 2) our strength-based approach. Helping women to capitalize on their languages skills not only empowers them to achieve economic security and professional success, but also enables them to turn their most stigmatized characteristic—their linguistic and cultural background—into their greatest asset in the labor market.

Board Chair Statement

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Geographic Area Served

GREATER BOSTON REGION, MA
We serve women from many communities in the greater Boston Area. Our services are accessible by public transportation.

Organization Categories

  1. Employment - Job Training
  2. Education - Adult Education
  3. Civil Rights, Social Action, Advocacy - Minority Rights

Independent research has been conducted on this organization's theory of change or on the effectiveness of this organization's program(s)

No

Programs

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 $20 to $30/hour

  • Continuing education opportunities both in-house and through scholarships to external trainings
Budget  $380,000.00
Category  Employment, General/Other Job Training & Employment
Population Served Females Minorities Poor,Economically Disadvantaged,Indigent
Program Short-Term Success  35 women will receive over 100 hours of interpreter training, including Core Competencies, Anatomy and Physiology, Advanced Interpreting Skills, as well as job skills and financial literacy training. Socioeconomic barriers will be overcome by tuition and all materials being provided free-of-charge, transportation assisatance (whether in the form of carpooling with a classmate, an MBTA pass, or a subsidy for car repair), on-site childcare, and a culture of high support and high expectations. Ultimately, the 35 women will receive a Medical Interpreter Certificate, with 95% attendance, and at least 75% passing both the oral and written portions of the final exam on the first attempt, and advance to the apprenticeship and job placement stages of the Language Access Fellowship.
Program Long-Term Success 

Language Access Fellows will earn a Medical Interpreter Certificate and embark on successful interpreting careers that will lead to economic security. As interpreters, they will provide health care access to vulnerable patients, promoting justice, improving health outcomes, reducing medical errors, and thus reducing healthcare costs and saving taxpayer dollars.


  • At least 80% of Language Access Fellows will attain gainful employment as Medical Interpreters or in similar fields within 1 year of graduation from our Course

  • 50% increase in hourly wages of Language Access Fellows graduates within 3 months of graduation and 100% increase one year from graduation

  • Provide Language Access Fellows with 1,650 apprenticeship hours and provide 410 hours of professional development and continuing education

  • Create 10 new interpreter positions via our job placement service through partnership with healthcare agencies

  • Over the course of a year, serve 825 Limited ENglish Proficiency (LEP) patients

Program Success Monitored By 

Found in Translation collects data on graduates’ economic and professional position at intake, 3 months, 6 months, 9 months, and annually post-graduation. These data include per-hour and per-month earnings, total household income, housing stability, and utilization of public assistance. We also track details about employment status, such as 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 unskilled job; whether they are building their careers via internships, volunteering, and networking, etc.


We use both quantitative and qualitative data to improve and refine our model every year. As a result, Class of 2014 achieved the same wages and employment outcomes in three months that Class of 2013 achieved in one year and Class of 2012 achieved in two years.
Examples of Program Success 

Three months post-graduation, our most recent class is:

  • 81% employed (compared with 53% employed at intake)

  • 46% employed in interpreting or closely related field (compared with 12% at intake)

  • Those employed saw their wages rise over 62% from $13.38 to $21.70 on average

Our impact extends beyond monetary value in ways that are unique to every woman:


  • Security and dignity of wages that, perhaps for the first time in her life, are commensurate with her ability and need.

  • A chance to reclaim a sense of mastery and competence lost when she left her homeland.

  • The opportunity to capitalize on her language knowledge, drawing on an existing strength to find a new confidence and sense of self-worth.

  • An opportunity to connect with and take pride in her cultural and linguistic heritage rather than see it as a barrier to success.


CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments


Management


CEO/Executive Director Ms Maria Vertkin
CEO Term Start Sept 2011
CEO Email [email protected]
CEO Experience Maria was born in Nizhniy Novgorod, Russia and lived in Kadima, Israel before immigrating to the United States. In addition to English, Maria speaks Russian, Hebrew, Spanish, and a little Portuguese. Maria studied Social Work at Regis College and began her career at the nonprofit Rediscovery. There she worked with adolescents transitioning out of foster care and led two pilot programs: a summer jobs program for at-risk youth and an innovative school-based program for homeless, unaccompanied high school students. She has also worked with survivors of domestic violence, was a mentor to girls at Big Sister of Greater Boston, a support group facilitator at Parents Helping Parents, a phone counselor on the state-wide Parental Stress Line, and translated for the grassroots media project Alive in Mexico to raise awareness of social justice issues in Mexico. For her service and dedication to the community, Maria has received several awards, including the 2009 Veronica Award from the Superstars Foundation, the 2010 Pearson Prize, the 2011 Women of Peace Award from the Women's Peacepower Foundation, the 2011 Kip Tiernan Social Justice Fellowship, which has enabled her to launch Found in Translation., and the 2013 Echoing Green Global Fellowship.
Co-CEO --
Co-CEO Term Start --
Co-CEO Email --
Co-CEO Experience --

Former CEOs and Terms

Name Start End
-- -- --

Senior Staff

Name Title Experience/Biography
Gaye Gentes -- experience

Awards

Award Awarding Organization Year
Finalist MassChallenge 2014
Advancement Award Boston Club 2013
Echoing Green Global Fellowship Echoing Green 2013
Innovation Award Small Business Association of New England 2013
World's Top 25 Social Enterprises for Women & Girls Women Deliver 2013
World's Top 25 Educational Initiatives for Women & Girls Women Deliver 2012
Kip Tiernan Social Justice Fellowship Rosie's Place 2011

Affiliations

Affiliation Year
-- --
Member of state association of nonprofits? Yes
Name of state association Massachusetts Nonprofit Network

External Assessments and Accreditations

External Assessment or Accreditation Year
-- --

Collaborations

The Sharewood Project, a free clinic run by Tufts Medical School students, serves predominantly Limited English Proficiency (LEP) patients. In partnership, we created three permanent medical interpreter positions at the clinic, which serves as a job placement for our Language Access Fellows and improves care for LEP patients.


Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, a language access pioneer and one of Boston’s largest employers of medical interpreters, generously provides us with classroom space, leads workshops in our interpreter training, and sponsors our organization. In return, we infuse the interpreting workforce with gifted, highly-trained new interpreters that would have otherwise been excluded from the profession by socioeconomic factors.


Cambridge Health Alliance is a partner in our apprenticeship and job placement program.


Rosie’s Place provided start-up funds for launching Found in Translation through its Kip Tiernan Social Justice Fellowship. Rosie’s Place, along with hundred of local non-profits and community organizations, helps recruit talented but struggling women into our interpreter training program.

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments

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Foundation Comments

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Staff Information

Number of Full Time Staff 3
Number of Part Time Staff 1
Number of Volunteers 50
Number of Contract Staff 15
Staff Retention Rate % --

Staff Demographics

Ethnicity African American/Black: 0
Asian American/Pacific Islander: 25
Caucasian: 50
Hispanic/Latino: 25
Native American/American Indian: 0
Other: 0
Other (if specified): 0
Gender Female: 100
Male: 0
Not Specified 0

Plans & Policies

Organization has Fundraising Plan? Under Development
Organization has Strategic Plan? Under Development
Years Strategic Plan Considers N/A
Management Succession Plan Under Development
Business Continuity of Operations Plan No
Organization Policies And Procedures Under Development
Nondiscrimination Policy Under Development
Whistle Blower Policy Yes
Document Destruction Policy Yes
Directors and Officers Insurance Policy Yes
State Charitable Solicitations Permit Yes
State Registration Yes

Risk Management Provisions

Commercial General Liability
Directors and Officers Policy
General Property Coverage
Medical Health Insurance
Professional Liability
Workers Compensation and Employers' Liability

Reporting and Evaluations

Management Reports to Board? Yes
CEO Formal Evaluation and Frequency Yes Annually
Senior Management Formal Evaluation and Frequency Yes Semi-Annually
Non Management Formal Evaluation and Frequency Yes Semi-Annually

Governance


Board Chair Mr Mark R Stewart Ed.D., LMFT
Board Chair Company Affiliation retired
Board Chair Term Sept 2011 -
Board Co-Chair --
Board Co-Chair Company Affiliation --
Board Co-Chair Term -

Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
Tom Geisbush Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center Voting
Ester Rebeca Shapiro Rok Ph.D. University of Massachusetts Boston Voting
Mark R. Stewart Ed.D., LMFT Retired, Cambridge Health Alliance Voting
Maria Vertkin Found in Translation Voting

Constituent Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
-- -- --

Youth Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
-- -- --

Advisory Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
-- -- --

Board Demographics

Ethnicity African American/Black: 14
Asian American/Pacific Islander: 0
Caucasian: 86
Hispanic/Latino: 0
Native American/American Indian: 0
Other: 0
Other (if specified): --
Gender Female: 72
Male: 28
Not Specified 0

Board Information

Board Term Lengths 3
Board Term Limits 2
Board Meeting Attendance % --
Written Board Selection Criteria Under Development
Written Conflict Of Interest Policy Yes
Percentage of Monetary Contributions 100%
Percentage of In-Kind Contributions 100%
Constituency Includes Client Representation No

Standing Committees

  • Board Governance
  • Development / Fund Development / Fund Raising / Grant Writing / Major Gifts
  • Finance
  • Program / Program Planning
  • Strategic Planning / Strategic Direction

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments

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Foundation Comments

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Financials


Revenue vs. Expense ($000s)

Expense Breakdown 2013 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2012 (%)

Expense Breakdown (%)

No data available

Fiscal Year Sept 01, 2014 to Aug 31, 2015
Projected Income $445,000.00
Projected Expense $380,000.00
Form 990s

2013 Form 990

2012 Form 990

Audit Documents --
IRS Letter of Exemption

IRS Letter of Determination

Prior Three Years Total Revenue and Expense Totals

Fiscal Year 2013 2012 --
Total Revenue $142,792 $56,564 --
Total Expenses $93,555 $32,601 --

Prior Three Years Revenue Sources

Fiscal Year 2013 2012 --
Foundation and
Corporation Contributions
$50,000 $40,500 --
Government Contributions $0 $0 --
    Federal -- -- --
    State -- -- --
    Local -- -- --
    Unspecified -- -- --
Individual Contributions $89,218 $16,064 --
Indirect Public Support -- -- --
Earned Revenue $1,000 -- --
Investment Income, Net of Losses -- -- --
Membership Dues -- -- --
Special Events $2,574 -- --
Revenue In-Kind -- -- --
Other -- -- --

Prior Three Years Expense Allocations

Fiscal Year 2013 2012 --
Program Expense $52,744 $32,601 --
Administration Expense $38,413 -- --
Fundraising Expense $2,398 -- --
Payments to Affiliates -- -- --
Total Revenue/Total Expenses 1.53 1.74 --
Program Expense/Total Expenses 56% 100% --
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue 2% 0% --

Prior Three Years Assets and Liabilities

Fiscal Year 2013 2012 --
Total Assets $73,201 $23,963 --
Current Assets $73,201 $23,963 --
Long-Term Liabilities $0 $0 --
Current Liabilities $0 $0 --
Total Net Assets $73,201 $23,963 --

Prior Three Years Top Three Funding Sources

Fiscal Year 2013 2012 --
1st (Source and Amount) Echoing Green $80,000.00
Kip Tiernan Fellowship (Initiative of Rosie's Place) $40,000.00
-- --
2nd (Source and Amount) Womenade Boston $23,000.00
Events (“Sunset BikeRide” Fundraising Event, Pubcrawl, & Dictionary Drive) $11,897.00
-- --
3rd (Source and Amount) Gould Charitable Foundation $20,000.00
Other Individual Donations $4,667.00
-- --

Financial Planning

Endowment Value --
Spending Policy N/A
Percentage(If selected) --
Credit Line Yes
Reserve Fund No
How many months does reserve cover? --

Capital Campaign

Are you currently in a Capital Campaign? No
Capital Campaign Purpose --
Campaign Goal --
Capital Campaign Dates -
Capital Campaign Raised-to-Date Amount --
Capital Campaign Anticipated in Next 5 Years? No

Short Term Solvency

Fiscal Year 2013 2012 --
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities -- -- --

Long Term Solvency

Fiscal Year 2013 2012 --
Long-term Liabilities/Total Assets 0% 0% --

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments

 

Foundation Comments

This organization is newer, as such, only two years of financial data is posted above. Additional data will be posted as it becomes available. Financial summary data in the charts and graphs above are per the organization's IRS Form 990-EZs.  The breakout of contributions from foundations and corporations, for each fiscal year posted, is per the 990's Schedule Bs.

Documents


Other Documents

No Other Documents currently available.

Impact

The Impact tab is a section on the Giving Common added in October 2013; as such the majority of nonprofits have not yet had the chance to complete this voluntary section. The purpose of the Impact section is to ask five deceptively simple questions that require reflection and promote communication about what really matters – results. The goal is to encourage strategic thinking about how a nonprofit will achieve its goals. The following Impact questions are being completed by nonprofits slowly, thoughtfully and at the right time for their respective organizations to ensure the most accurate information possible.


1. What is your organization aiming to accomplish?

We create opportunity at the intersection of two problems:

1) Poverty and homelessness affect women, minorities – and especially minority women – disproportionately. The poverty rate for immigrants is 50% higher than for US­-born, and women's wages are less than 80% of men's.

2) Language is a major barrier to health care and demand for medical interpreters is growing rapidly. Errors and delays resulting from language barriers are costly and sometimes deadly. Access to a professional medical interpreter is a legally-protected civil right, but the medical interpreter workforce is struggling to keep up with growing demand. This is especially true in Massachusetts, which is home to the nation’s 8th largest immigrant populations, and whose world class hospital attract discerning patients from around the globe.

Poverty is distributed unequally across race, gender, and ethnicity. As a result, bilingual talent is concentrated in poor communities. Without the money for tuition, childcare, or adequate social networks, many excellent bilingual job candidates remain trapped in a cycle of poverty while bilingual job openings go unfilled. By training low-income and homeless bilingual women as professional medical interpreters, we bring these two problems together and allow them to solve each other.

Medical interpreting has a median annual wage of $45,430 nationally and $58,990 in MA, and is the fourth fastest-growing profession in the US: jobs increased by 171% between 2002 and 2012, and are expected to increase by 46% by 2022. As medical interpreters our graduates advance equality in healthcare access, improve patient outcomes, and save lives. Further, they reduce healthcare costs and save taxpayer dollars by preventing medical errors and inefficiencies.

2. What are your strategies for making this happen?

WHAT WE MEASURE & HOW

Found in Translation collects data on graduates’ economic and professional position at intake, 3 months, 6 months, 9 months, and annually post-graduation. These data include per-hour and per-month earnings, total household income, housing stability, and utilization of public assistance. We also track details about employment status, such as 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 unskilled job; whether they are building their careers via internships, volunteering, and networking, etc.

USE OF DATA

We use the results of our evaluation both internally and externally.

Internally, we consider ourselves to be in “permanent beta”---the state of constantly examining, re-evaluation, and improving. Each class’s outcomes results and ratings of each component of the program are used to figure out what’s working and what isn’t, and do more of what’s working and less of what’s not working. We also run statistical analysis of our program participants admissions data (demographics, application scores, etc.) in comparison to outcomes in order to optimize our selection process to favor characteristics that correlate with success in our program and in the profession---as well as to balance these characteristics with the applicants’ economic need. As a result, our class represents a group of women who are best positioned to benefit from our program. Due to the rigor of our evaluation, the changes made following the third and fourth class are minor compared to the bold changes made following the first and second years.

Externally, the data we collect and interpret lends itself well to keeping funders, volunteers, donors, partners, and other stakeholders informed. Our outcomes database is designed to generate graphs and charts that visually represent metrics such as changes in wages and employment, demographics, and outputs (retention, attendance, test results, etc.).

CONSTITUENT INVOLVEMENT

Program participants are financially incentivized to contribute to our data collection, and the data collection is integrated into the ongoing engagement between them and program staff. The year-round, ongoing nature of our program provides benefits (job placement, professional development in-house workshops and scholarships to outside trainings, alumnae association, etc.) that make it worthwhile for program participants to stay engaged and partake in surveys. Additionally, we share the data openly with our program participants, usually at Alumnae Association meetings with an electronic follow-up for those who were unable to attend. At every survey interval, we present them with key findings, charts, our interpretation of their progress as a group, and invite them to discuss the stories behind the numbers. This creates an opportunity for them to voice concerns, influence programming, and steer the direction of the organization.

3. What are your organization’s capabilities for doing this?

--

4. How will your organization know if you are making progress?

Three months post-graduation, our most recent class is:

  • 81% employed (compared with 53% employed at intake)

  • 46% employed in interpreting or closely related field (compared with 12% at intake)

  • Those employed saw their wages rise over 62% from $13.38 to $21.70 on average

Our impact extends beyond monetary value in ways that are unique to every woman:

  • Security and dignity of wages that, perhaps for the first time in her life, are commensurate with her ability and need.

  • A chance to reclaim a sense of mastery and competence lost when she left her homeland.

  • The opportunity to capitalize on her language knowledge, drawing on an existing strength to find a new confidence and sense of self-worth.

  • An opportunity to connect with and take pride in her cultural and linguistic heritage rather than see it as a barrier to success.


5. What have and haven’t you accomplished so far?

In addition to program accomplishments, we have achieved a lot as an organization We have served 120 women (including the current class); mobilized over 100 volunteers; and formed collaborations with entities such as Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Tufts Medical School, Cambridge Health Alliance, Boston Health Care for the Homeless Program, Greater Boston Legal Services, and Volunteer Lawyers Project. Our impact and innovative model have positioned us as an emerging leader in workforce development and economic mobility, attracting media attention and awards, among them:

-- 2014 MassChallenge accelerator
-- 2013 Echoing Green Fellowship
-- 2013 World's Top 25 Social Enterprises for Women and Girls (WomenDeliver25)
-- 2013 New England Innovation Award (SBANE)
-- 2013 Advancement Award (Boston Club)
-- 2012 World’s Top 25 Educational Initiatives for Women and Girls (WomenDeliver50)
-- 2011 Kip Tiernan Fellowship (Rosie’s Place)
-- 2011 Women of Peace Award (Women’s Peacepower Foundation)

Our ultimate goal is to respond to the need for our program in communities locally, regionally, and nationally. We have a highly effective model with demonstrated results, but lack the financial stability necessary in order to scale.

Currently, Found in Translation is nearly 70% foundation-funded, with the other 30% consisting mainly from individual and corporate funders. Foundation funding can be unstable -- large amounts that may or may not be awarded, depending on constantly evolving priorities and many other factors. We are working on further cultivating our base of individual and corporate funders, but our main focus is on our unique opportunity to generate fee-for-service revenue in a way that furthers our mission. As our pool of talented and highly-trained interpreters grows with every graduating class, we are in a better position to provide interpreting services to the community in response to rapidly growing demand. Our interpreter service:

1) Serves as a job placement service for our graduates, creating a direct pipeline from our training to well-paying, skilled jobs. This not only improves immediate job placement rates but also graduates’ long-term career prospects by helping them to build up the experience and credentials necessary to be hired at stable hospital jobs.


2) Brings professional interpreting services to “language access deserts,” enabling vulnerable patients to exercise their civil right to equal access to linguistically and culturally appropriate medical care.

3) Creates a fee-for-service revenue stream that will be instrumental in Found in Translation’s long-term sustainability. Our vision is that the interpreting enterprise will dramatically decrease our reliance on charitable contributions and within 3-5 years will completely fund our operations, enabling us to leverage philanthropy to fuel our growth, and transforming us into a sustainable social enterprise.

Meanwhile, we rely on philanthropic contributions, and foundation support is needed now more urgently than ever. This year, the number of applications we are receiving is unprecedented – 385 applications, compared to 235 last year. No other organization provides job training that is both tailored to the needs of low-income and homeless women and leads to well-paying jobs in a rapidly growing field by capitalizing on an existing strength such as bilingual skill. The reality that the economic mobility opportunity we provide is unique raises the stakes for sustaining and growing our program and organization.