Interpreter shows versatility of Spanish program

By Dan Grubb - Sampson Community College
Patricia Willoughby, department chair for the Spanish interpreter program and Evert Cruz, a teacher and translator for Sampson County Schools. -

An act of kindness can cause a domino effect. That is the signature line in the email from Evert Cruz. A student in Sampson Community College’s Cultural Immersion class, Cruz is also a teacher and Spanish translator for Sampson County Schools. He is taking the course at SCC as part of professional development for his work with the school system.

“My family is from Oaxaca, Mexico and we moved here to work in the agriculture fields,” says Cruz. After graduating from Union High School, Sampson Community College and Fayetteville State University, Cruz began translating Spanish for schools in Sampson County. “My parents instilled the value of education at an early age.”

Patricia Willoughby, Department Chair of the Community Spanish Interpreter program at SCC says this background prepared Cruz for an interesting job for which she referred him. “I got a phone call yesterday from a lady who needed a Spanish interpreter to interpret at the Sampson County Jail,” says Willoughby. Not exactly a high school classroom, but she told Cruz about the request.

“I arrived at the jail not really knowing what to expect,” says Cruz. “I met with the attorney and the client and helped to translate communications regarding their case. It was a lot more comfortable than I thought it might be. At the end of the day, it made for a much easier interaction between the two. The attorney was very impressed and said he hopes to continue using my translating services in the future.”

Cruz is an example of how integral Spanish interpretation is within the community and the variety of ways it can help people from all walks of life.

For more information about the Spanish Interpreter program at SCC, contact Patricia Willoughby at [email protected]

Patricia Willoughby, department chair for the Spanish interpreter program and Evert Cruz, a teacher and translator for Sampson County Schools.
https://www.clintonnc.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/web1_interperter.jpgPatricia Willoughby, department chair for the Spanish interpreter program and Evert Cruz, a teacher and translator for Sampson County Schools.

By Dan Grubb

Sampson Community College