Meaningful in Many Ways - Become a Volunteer Language Interpreter
Fairfax County Office of Public Affairs
12000 Government Center Parkway, Suite 551
Fairfax, VA 22035-0065
703-324-3187, TTY 703-324-2935, FAX 703-324-2010
Jan. 8, 2004
Meaningful in Many Ways
Become a Volunteer Language Interpreter
Being a volunteer language interpreter for the Fairfax County Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court gives people an opportunity to gain the experience needed to become a paid, certified interpreter through an award-winning program. It's an opportunity to learn about the legal process and the court system. Best of all, it's an opportunity to help families in need.
Volunteer language interpreters are needed to assist court staff and clients. Duties include facilitating communication between clients and court staff, translating court documents, interpreting at some court hearings and helping clients review their court orders. Fluency is required in both English and another language. A commitment to one weekly four-hour shift during business hours (8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.) for at least six months is needed. Training is scheduled for Feb. 25, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., at the Fairfax County Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court, 4000 Chain Bridge Road, Fairfax City. Applicants must be at least 21 years of age.
Last year, the Fairfax County Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court received an "Act of Caring" award from the National Association of Counties (NACo) for this volunteer interpreter program. The award honors community-based initiatives convened by county governments that enhance or preserve the quality of life.
Most volunteers are recruited from immigrant communities in the county. Often, the culture of these communities is one of distrust of the legal system. The court process can be confusing and intimidating, especially for citizens who do not have a high proficiency in English and who have come from cultures very different from our own. The presence of the volunteer interpreters helps people feel at ease. The volunteer interpreters work along side the court service staff to identify issues for each client, determine the appropriate course of action and then complete the necessary paperwork. The volunteer program has brought dignity and professionalism to the court and community.
For more information and an application, contact Gwen Robinson, Volunteer Services Coordinator, at 703-246-2697, TTY 703-273-3713, or send e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.