Bridging The Gap: Breaking through Barriers and Building/Being a Bridge to help others
Break through barriers that stop you from growing and build/become a bridge to help others who have a similar challenge.
Raquel Santos: A Future Master Class Today (FMCT) Generation Y member. The subsequent paragraphs allow you to peak into her life Today, Yesterday, and Tomorrow to share her journey on how she did not allow a potential barrier to trap her from launching forward.
Raquel has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Spanish from Shippensburg University. She has held many professional roles during and post school. Her current role is an Early Intervention Service Coordinator, Bilingual at SAM, Inc.
In this professional capacity, she is afforded the opportunity to work with many families who qualify for special services but cannot speak English to represent themselves in the application process. This gap is where Raquel adds value to their cause.
Her translation/interpretation formal training empowers her to be a bridge for them. She translates the contents of the application, so that they can answer questions correctly and appropriately. She is also present to interpret for them when they are before key Agency stakeholders who can give them the service they need. As a result, many families can sustain a quality life- Good Work Raquel!
The Raquel Today could not exist without the Raquel Yesterday. Her compassion and empathy for others with this barrier to speak English started when she was a young girl. Her family moved to America. It was a culture shock. Mainly because of the barrier of not being able to speak English. Especially in school. She felt alone when she was not around her family.
She knew she was never going to move back to the Dominican Republic. So, she had to make some changes. Either learn to speak and comprehend English, so she can represent herself or stick with speaking Spanish only which meant being somewhat isolated and socially challenged.
She decided to learn to speak English and enrolled in an English as a Second Language (ESL) course to start her journey.
Fast forward- She can now speak, read, and write English. Her hard work paid off. Her efforts have given her the return she desired. Job opportunities, Academic experiences, Self-confidence, Social life, and more.
After college, she was hired as an ESL aid for a Pennsylvania Middle School. There, she met a student who reminded her of herself. She was quiet and isolated away from the other students. Raquel knew these signs and was drawn to her (Jane Doe).
The two developed a healthy relationship as they worked on the appropriate class instructions. Raquel added her empathetic approach to each assignment so that Jane could embrace her new English voice. It worked! She began to speak and understand English. Her social health changed as she was talking with other people without being prompted to do so and so much more.
Like Raquel, Jane made the right change for herself and is now benefitting from her decision- Kudos to Jane and Raquel.
Raquel Yesterday and Raquel Today have set up and prepared Raquel for Tomorrow. She clearly has the boldness and courage to break barriers that will not allow her to grow in her current environment. Her empathy for people has empowered her to build/be the right bridge to help them to conquer/breakthrough their barrier that keeps them from launching forward.
Today, she is working with individual clients. Tomorrow, her scope is wider and deeper — to be determined. The unknown does not seem uncertain or impossible for her.
Lessons from Raquel.
1. Understand your barrier against your current environment. Will it prevent you from growing? If it does, decide to…
2. Break through it. Develop your plan to overcome the barrier and action your tasks
3. Build/Be a Bridge. Show Empathy: Reach out to someone who may have a similar barrier, ask if they want help-if yes, become their bridge to help them crossover to a healthier place. If no, give them their space.
Raquel Santos, a Generation Y FMCT member, is a Barrier Breaker/Bridge-Builder now. She has the baton running and winning her race today. The Future looks Brighter.
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Note: Also posted in Spanish