top of page
  • Writer's pictureBayLeigh Routt

Reflecting on My Year of Service

I can’t believe it’s already my last day serving with the Kentucky Interpreter and Translator Association! For the past year, I served as the Language Access Outreach Specialist. I expanded KITA’s social media presence, facilitated the registration process for our Core Medical Interpreter Training, collaborated with board members to create and launch a survey, and promoted the importance of language access in our communities at health fairs or events. Over the past year, I developed over $4,100 in in-kind resources, non-grant cash, and grant-related funding, and reported 58 individuals receiving health and wellness related services. Serving with a nonprofit in any capacity presents challenges and rewards you with the chance to grow.

Three photos of BayLeigh with the words "VISTA Spotlight" at the top and her name below the pictures.

Since I began working with KITA, I have faced my own challenges. I faced a big challenge in the first few weeks of starting my job. At the beginning, I had to jump right in early September and assist with the registration process, which was very difficult because I didn’t have any experience with this process, didn’t know much about interpreting or interpreter training, and there was very little time to get all of the necessary tasks done. Completing such an important role at the very beginning can be nerve-wracking no matter what; however, it was significantly more stressful for me because I did not have experience with managing the registration process for a medical interpreter training, especially with such little time. It was very stressful for the first six weeks of my service, but once I had a chance to reflect I realize that I learned a lot, which would help me a lot in the future.

Although challenges are normal—and expected—in any job, there is always a chance to succeed. The first round of Core Medical Interpreter Training that I assisted with really helped when we offered the next round of training we offered this summer. Knowing what needed to be done and understanding our time restraints I could communicate with my supervisor what I believed the timeline to complete the timeline should be, so that everything was ready before the training officially began. Being able to plan more effectively really helped KITA prepare for CMIT; this summer we were able to complete the registration process with more than enough time to help the students complete their language proficiency exams with enough time too. In addition, being communicate with my supervisor is a significant reward because that type of communication is crucial to being able to efficiently run any organization or business.

Reflecting on the last year, I am very happy that I got to serve with an organization that cares about a lot of the same things that matter to me. I connected with so many people in my community and developed a deeper appreciation for my community by being involved in a way that I hadn’t been before. Serving as VISTA member gave me the chance to be a part of a mission that means a great deal to me while simultaneously helping a community I have been a part of for most of my life. For the past year, I got help people help themselves, which I think is a very important thing to keep in mind when doing this kind of work. It can be easy to operate with blinders, even when you have good intentions to help people; it’s important to realize that helping people is all about listening to their needs and including them in the process. It’s important to help people in your community be sustainable and I’ve them the autonomy they deserve. I am very proud that I completed a year of service as an AmeriCorps VISTA and I am excited to see how my experience serving with KITA will help me in the future!


bottom of page