LOUISVILLE, Ky - The school year has ended across JCPS. But in one small classroom students are spending their summer learning how to help others navigate the intimidating world of living in their American community and not speaking English.
More than 15 multilingual juniors and seniors are preparing to use their talents to become interpreters. For everyone we spoke with, it’s a deeply personal choice.
"I’ve experienced that personally," said student Helen Tara. "Having to go to appointments with my grandmother and just, like, any family members who aren’t able to speak English for themselves."
"I was the first of my family to learn English," added friend Perla Contreras. "And my whole life I’ve been helping my family to communicate with other people. So, I want to be able to help other people to understand and be their voice."
Alma Enright is their passionate teacher. The Spanish-speaking interpreter said she was very happy her students chose to work in the class, despite beautiful summer days outside.
"I love that they have the willingness to have this career, because this is a career," said Enright. "It’s not like an outside job or part-time, this is a career; you can build as far as you want."
The students spend eight sessions training to be a literal mouthpiece for someone else; conveying not just words but meaning as well.