Global Wordsmiths’ Volunteer Initiative, The Language Access Project (LAP), was designed to provide free language translation and interpretation services to local nonprofits (Partner Organizations) working directly with immigrants and refugees. LAP is structured as an internship that provides bilingual university students with comprehensive interpreter training, service learning experience, monitoring and support, mentorship and professional references as well as a stipend or college credit in exchange for volunteer hours. Global Wordsmiths then pairs these trained volunteer interpreters with Partner Organizations at no cost so that these organizations can provide their clients with language interpretation and translation services.
Each intern is required to commit a minimum of five hours per week to LAP during the 23-week cycle. With five interns approved to participate in the fall 2017 pilot program, LAP will provide nearly 1,200 hours of free language services to its Partner Organization for this cycle, Jewish Family and Children’s Services. This represents significant output and provides an invaluable service to clients of JFCS with limited English proficiency, and it serves the Global Wordsmiths’ core mission, which is to improve language access in Western Pennsylvania.