When CSUSM pivoted to online learning in response to COVID-19, Lizeth Lucero Munoz saw her opportunity. Finally, she could take the Healthcare Interpreting certificate program.
She first heard about it in 2018 as a CSUSM undergraduate finishing her bachelor’s degree in human development. “It was always interesting to me,” Lizeth says. “But the schedule never worked out because I would get out of work at 6 [p.m.] and classes would start at 6. Because it was all online this year, I could finish my shift and then just connect to the classes.”
As a school site supervisor for the Boys & Girls Clubs of North County (BGCNC), Lizeth runs the before- and after-school programs for students at Live Oak Elementary in Fallbrook, California. While she was initially drawn to the healthcare interpreting program so she could better help at her mom’s medical appointments for diabetes, Lizeth’s new skills are also improving communication in her work through the BGCNC.
“The interpreting program helped me to better [my] skills to make sure our families are getting the information they need.”
Lizeth Lucero Muňoz, Healthcare Interpreting Certificate
With a large Spanish-speaking population among the families at Live Oak Elementary, Lizeth had already been translating fliers and taking on small interpreting tasks. The techniques she developed through the interpreting program enable her to assist with confidence now, particularly in communication between the parents and school staff.
“The program really helped me to listen to what someone in the school office is saying, process the information and tell the parents, making sure it is correct,” Lizeth says. “My interpreting is a lot smoother because of the skills we learned in class.”
Lizeth joined the staff of the Boys & Girls Clubs of North County as a youth development professional when she was a CSUSM undergraduate and she moved to her role as a school site supervisor about two years ago. At Live Oak Elementary, she facilitates BGCNC programs that support academics, health and life skills, sports and fitness, and more.
Despite the challenges of COVID-19—including reducing enrollment at her site from about 90 students to 35 to allow for social distancing—Lizeth’s work as a program supervisor and newly trained interpreter is fulfilling for many reasons.
“I enjoy working with the kids and making those connections with the kids and their families,” Lizeth says. “If you stay at the same site for years, you see them grow up and you become one big family. You see the difference that you are making and they see you as mentors.
“The interpreting program helped me to better [my] skills to make sure our families are getting the information they need. It’s all tied together and it’s worked out really well.”