| FEATURED READER |
Would you introduce yourself?
My name is Leyda Becker and I am a proud Latina born in Venezuela. I migrated to the United States when I was 13 years of age.
Where do you live?
I have lived in Bowling Green, Kentucky for the last 29 years.
How did you get started in this industry?
I have been working in the field of language access since I graduated from Western Kentucky University in 2001. During my first job out of college I was tasked with translating into Spanish vital information for a local non-profit organization and that’s how I got started in the industry.
How long have you worked in the industry?
What are you currently working on?
I currently serve as the International Communities Liaison for the City of Bowling Green in the state of Kentucky. The City of Bowling Green is the third largest city in Kentucky with a population of approximately 72,000 and around 16% of city residents are foreign-born. In 2020 I also launched my own firm, Meriven Training and Consulting LLC, to be able to support diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts within other organizations and expand the scope of impact to a regional market.
What language(s) do you speak?
I am a native Spanish speaker and fluent in English as my second language.
What is the most satisfying thing for you about working in this industry?
Creating accessibility to limited English proficient patrons, it is so satisfying to see when the language barrier is lifted and people who could not understand or communicate can have access to vital and essential services.
Whose industry social feeds (twitter, blog, LinkedIn, Facebook) do you follow?
I follow anything related to immigrant integration I follow. I try to stay up to date on the major initiatives and policy changes affecting immigrants and refugees in the United States as well as abroad.
What do you like to do in your spare time?
I love to spend time outdoors with my family, camping, hiking, or discovering natural spaces. I am a natural extrovert, so I love socializing and spending time with others who are involved in building community! I love to attend cultural celebrations hosted by the diverse ethnic groups represented in the city.
What industry organizations and activities do you participate in?
As a representative from a local municipality we are part of the Welcoming America Network, which connects us with municipal offices across the United States serving new Americans.
Do you have any social feeds of your own? Twitter handle, blog?
I contribute to all of the City of Bowling Green social media pages @CityofBGKY and also our local Spanish radio program @lanuestrabg.
Why do you read MultiLingual ?
It is imperative that I stay connected with the latest technology and innovation in the industry in order to effectively serve a community with more than 100 different languages spoken by our diverse residents. MultiLingual is the only magazine of its kind, and when I was introduced to it, I knew I’d found a gold mine!