What’s something memorable about your experience in VHIO?
My most memorable experience was my first interpreting event, a surgery session in Kaiser Richmond alongside other interpreters from VHIO and Operation Access. I remember how all the patients felt at ease, knowing that they were being cared for by people who understood and spoke their language. It was such a great experience being able to ensure that patients’ needs were being met and having the opportunity to work with the nurses and surgeons, who were some of the most kind and thoughtful people I have ever met.
Spanish Department, Class of 2021
What are you doing now?
After graduation, I moved back to Whittier, CA and I’ve been taking post-bacc classes through UCLA Extension to enhance my academic record while actively searching for clinical work in the LA area to gain more experience and help support my family financially.
What inspired you to join VHIO?
I heard about VHIO during my junior year, and I was immediately interested in becoming a volunteer because it was my first time coming across an organization that provides free interpretation and translation services to LEP communities. As someone who always had to interpret/translate for my parents, I grew up well aware of the frustration and obstacles caused by language barriers. I joined VHIO because I wanted to use my bilingual skills to lessen the challenges that people like my parents face because they don’t speak English.
Has your experience in VHIO impacted your life today?
Volunteering for VHIO made me realize the importance of having linguistically and culturally competent caretakers in healthcare, which ultimately strengthened my aspiration to become a physician that can understand and care for LEP individuals in the Latino community.
What advice would you give current VHIO members?
I would advise current VHIO members to sincerely appreciate every interpretation and translation opportunity they take part in because they’re truly making a difference in someone’s life. I wish I had joined VHIO earlier so I could have participated in many more in-person interpreting events because I really enjoyed those. I’m really grateful to have been a part of VHIO and it’s certainly one of the most meaningful experiences I had at Berkeley. 🙂