Co-Founder of the LANG Initiative—Environmental Studies & Political Science Major with a Minor in Law & Public Policy—Class of 2022
Language accessibility is a barrier for so many people and it’s more often than not overlooked– I’ve heard so many stories from students for whom English is a second language that emphasized the fact that someone had to do something about it.
Working on the LANG Initiative has helped me meet so many wonderful people from many walks of life. Thank you to all the translators and faculty advisors that worked so hard to make this project a success, and a special shout out to Will and Professor Dong for moving mountains to get the LANG Initiative off the ground!
Professional Profile: linkedin.com/in/abbiesedillos
William H. Fleming
Co-Founder of the LANG Initiative—Security & Resilience Studies Major—Masters Candidate, Class of 2022
We often speak our mother tongue with a sense of complacency while others can inadvertently misinterpret these messages – in a sense, falling on listening ears, overflowing with confusion. This vulnerability inhibits students and their families from feeling one with the community they reside in, especially Northeastern as a global institution. Undoubtedly, this hurts our resiliency. This is why the LANG Initiative is key to strengthening our community.
Since the pandemic, what inspired me was the desperation of international students and non-English speaking parents scrambling to reassure them but unable to – most of which, hark back to their desire to understand this uncertainty. We, the LANG Initiative, have reassured them. This has made me passionate about continuing to find ways to bridge communities and strengthen them. Most importantly, every translator on our teams, faculty advisors, Hua Dong, and my partner in crime Abbie Sedillos have empowered me to not be complacent and fight to build our community on one basic understanding – language accessibility. Thank you all for making this possible!
Professional Profile: linkedin.com/in/willflem
Maria Zapata Perez
Vice President—Combined Business Administration & Psychology Major with a Minor in Sustainable Business Practices—Class of 2023
I joined the LANG Initiative because it offers a service that I think is necessary at Northeastern, given the number of international students who attend and apply to our university and the way we embrace global diversity and thought. It is only fair for us to offer this resource to the families who may not be fluent in the English language and who still have a right to know (and most importantly, understand!) our plans for their students. Especially during these heartbreaking times all around the world, I am happy to be a part of this initiative and know that I’m making a positive change, as small as it may be, in my Northeastern community.
Professional Profile: linkedin.com/in/mariazapataperez/
Wenting (Monica) Jia 贾雯婷
Vice President—Finance and Accounting Major—Class of 2021
At the beginning, the quarantine process during this pandemic brought me plenty of free time. I want to utilize all the free time to do something meaningful. Simultaneously, the professor from one of my summer classes forwarded the link to us. It is a great opportunity for me to reduce my “lazy time” and help students and parents who may not feel very comfortable in reading a big bulk of English documents which are very important to know.
I will definitely include this volunteer experience in my resume. I believe the LANG Initiative will make it bright and shine. Besides, no matter where I will be, I am going to keep eyes on any opportunity to help others especially when they need translation. This is also a great time for me to go through school policies.
Professional Profile: linkedin.com/in/wenting-monica-jia-991a15138/
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