Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Student Spotlight: Megan Knight's Spanish & Illinios Summer Internship

by Ann Abbott

Megan Knight was one of the student bloggers from my "Spanish & Entrepreneurship" course last semester. She always wrote compelling and smart posts about her work in the course, in the community and her time studying abroad in Chile.

This summer Megan has one of the Spanish & Illinois Summer Internships, and she is working at Childcare Resource Services, the same place she did her community service-learning for "Spanish in the Community." I asked her what kinds of things she was doing during her internship, and you can read her answer below. What I love about her answer is that she is busy. She's using and developing many different skills--translation, document creation, writing/editing copy, client interaction, teamwork, and many more. Great job, Megan! :)

Jeeze, what am I NOT doing at CCRS? There's always so much to do! Right now I'm in the process of creating/translating resource guides for the six counties that CCRS offers services for: Iroquois, Champaign, Macom, Vermilion, Douglas, and Piatt. This way when clients come in and are new to the area, we can give them these packets that have all sorts of information about child care, educational services in the area, food and clothing providers, etc.

I also accompany Milagros whenever we have Latino clients come in who only speak Spanish. Sometimes I'll have to interview them if they are looking for a list of child care providers to see what their needs are, or sometimes I'll have to go find their files and see what's going on if they haven't been approved for child care.

I'm also translating forms. You wouldn't believe how many different types of applications and questionnaires and packets there are that people have to fill out in order to get child care. Most of the forms are on the DHS website in Spanish and English but there still are quite a few that aren't, so I translate them whenever we come across a form that we don't have available in Spanish.

I also help out the other child care specialists when they have Latino clients who are lacking some sort of documentation in their file so they can't be approved for child care. When this happens, the specialists come to me and tell me what the client still needs to provide, and then I write them a request for additional information in Spanish and mail it off to them.

As I said, there's always a lot to do! Yesterday I went and delivered toys with a co-worker to some Latino providers' houses, which was a nice change from sitting in the office all day. I really liked being able to talk in Spanish with the providers in a more relaxed atmosphere (and seeing the cute little kids was fun too!!)

So, that's the majority of the things that I'm doing at CCRS. I really like working side by side with Milagros and seeing the impact that her bilingualism has in her job. It makes me want to be bilingual even more, and I know that this experience will bring me closer to my goal!!!

Thanks again for giving us the opportunity to work in the community like this. I know that I'm really making a difference!

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