In pursuit of her double majors of Biology and Spanish, during her sophomore year, Cinthia Arreola, ‘21, took Advanced Spanish Translation Practice with Associate Professor Kevin Hunt. Taking the course turned out to be a more life-altering decision than she could have imagined. She always had a drive to help her community, but this course opened her eyes to ways to support her community through translation.
Cinthia’s Spanish professors frequently encouraged their students to help the Hispanic community outside of school. Inspiration from other Latinas on campus further developed her desire to do greater good; but she wanted deeper involvement than through clubs and organizations. Eventually, those influencers led Cinthia to seeking the student bilingual web writer position at Meredith, which she began in fall 2019.
Looking through the lens of high school students considering enrollment at Meredith or at what information would be important to non-English speaking parents, Cinthia thoughtfully collaborated with the marketing office, her professors, friends, and a host of campus departments to select materials for translation.
Cinthia’s work supports a broad audience. High school counselors use translated materials to assist with prospective student conversations. Meredith’s admission and financial assistance counselors can point Spanish-speaking families to key translated information during the admissions process. Many current students share that they find the information helpful in guiding conversations with their own parents about important issues that arise for them. In addition, as community awareness of Meredith’s translations efforts have increased, accolades from organizations such as El Pueblo and the Mexican Consulate’s office in North Carolina have been received.
“I’m so proud to be working on this project!” Cinthia shares. She knew this would be “something big” but she did not realize what changes in herself she would experience. She has learned more about herself, her friends, and her community. “One of the biggest challenges for my translations was that I needed to be inclusive of any form of Spanish,” said Cinthia.
Cinthia has participated as a community volunteer with classmates, at WakeMed where she does interpretations with children, and at Urban Ministries Open Door Clinic interpreting for families. These experiences have further emphasized the importance of her translation work at Meredith. Making it easier for others to transition into higher education is one of the driving forces for her involvement as a bilingual web writer.
Cinthia’s ultimate plan is to attend medical school to become a pediatrician. After Meredith she plans to take a gap year to study for the MCAT. She also plans to take interpretation courses and get a certification in medical interpretation and translation.
“This has been a really great experience. The positive feedback makes me feel good about myself.”