The goal of this study is to explore one way to increase the retention of People of Color (PoC) within the interpreting field in hopes of increasing numbers within Interpreter Training Programs (ITPs). Short term mentoring experiences consisted of four stages with various mentors of different backgrounds. I gathered reflective data via journaling pre- and post-mentorship meetings. This is a personal narrative from a recent ITP graduate entry-level interpreter who is continuing to seek mentorship and growth while starting in the professional field. Interpreter mentoring for this project consists of discussions centered around interpreting skills, decision making, self-care aspects, self-identity, imposter syndrome, and perspectives on how to break through the barriers as a PoC interpreter. The objective is to identify different mentoring experiences with various types of mentors. The desire is to spread knowledge to ITP educators, students, interpreters, and mentors within the field about the benefits of working with a mentor/mentee who has a similar cultural background and lived experience. Lastly, a goal of this project is to increase institutional awareness of the need for more PoC involvement in education, mentorship, and overall interpreting. I aim to demonstrate the importance of how this process is similar to the butterfly effect; the phenomenon whereby a minute localized change in a complex system can have large effects elsewhere and can lead to significant results over time. By providing familiar mentors, retention of PoC interpreting students can increase, therefore, increasing the numbers of PoC graduates within ITPs. More importantly, retention of PoC interpreters provides more options for the PoC Deaf community.

Exit Requirement

Action Research

Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Arts in Interpreting Studies

Committee Chair

Amanda Smith

Committee Member

Elisa Maroney


Mentoring, interpreting, educators, Latinx, people of color, students, ITP



Type (DCMI Terms)


Subject Categories

Language Interpretation and Translation | Sign Languages

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