Frequently Asked Questions

Why is Novin steering away from the traditional mentor/mentee model?

Novin is stepping away from the traditional mentor-mentee model in order to foster a more personalized learning opportunity. We strongly believe that everyone has something to offer, no matter their experience level. We will provide a comprehensive list of skills that will continue to evolve under your suggestions and feedback. Partners will work together to develop and achieve individual goals through discussions, feedback and more, regardless of experience level. We are also firm believers in collectivism, and taking measured, intentional steps away from the patriarchal and white supremecist frameworks that birthed unequal educational models.

What is the difference between a mentor/mentee relationship and a peer partnership?

A peer partnership is a mentoring partnership between two colleagues with the goal of working together to exchange information and enhance skills. Rather than the “teacher-student” model of traditional mentorship, Novin’s Bridge Program is geared more towards a structured, peer-to-peer mentoring experience. Often in the past, traditional mentorship has undervalued the younger or less experienced interpreter, and made no space for learning opportunities for the more seasoned interpreter. Working from a viewpoint of valuing all participants equally is something new and maybe uncomfortable for some folks. If both people are committed to reciprocity and accountability, peer mentorship can be a mutually beneficial experience.

 If I have 5 + years of experience, is this program for me?

Yes! We all have something to offer and we also all have something to learn. Interpreters that have been working for 5+ years have unique experiences to share. For example, some have found a niche that they have developed a particularly strong schema for. Others have done a little work in many different settings and can offer discussions of their experience in each. For example, many interpreters in this category have advice to offer regarding different technology used for billing, working with more seasoned teams, taxes, or even MCDHH screening/NIC prep.

If I have less than 5 years of experience, is this program for me? What can I bring to the table?

Absolutely this program is for you! Newer interpreters are the future of the profession, and the insight they bring is invaluable. This is the perfect place for recent grads or novice interpreters in the field to grow. Interpreters who are working in the field every day can greatly benefit from the perspective of someone who has just learned theories and research in their ITP.  As part of a new generation of interpreters, many grads have new insight and personal experience to offer re: pronouns, applications of social justice, etc.

I’m not an ASL interpreter or CDI/DI, is this program for me?

Yes! Language specialists, native users of ASL, ASL tutors and Deaf mentors are all an integral part to an interpreter’s skill development. When you fill out our survey/registration form, we would love to connect about what your involvement could look like. As the original and rightful gatekeepers of this language and its service providers, your guidance and input is of the utmost importance!

Who will make an effective partner?

An effective partner is someone who is invested in the process and committed to working with their colleagues toward mutual growth. They will provide an appropriate balance of encouragement and respectful, constructive feedback. Demonstrating an openness to learn, and to respect the intersectionality of whichever partner you find yourself paired with is integral to the success and sustainability of this program. If you find yourself in need of guidance on how to respectfully interact with trans identities, pronouns, microaggressions, discussing race or other topics, please contact your point person and they will direct you to resources that can offer such support.

What if my partner and I have the same amount of experience?

Some partnerships are based on sharing common challenges or experiences in the field. Talking through these challenges together and discussing can often prove to be helpful. The same amount of experience does not mean you have learned in the same environments. Many colleagues who have worked for the same amount of time have had drastically different experiences and complement each other’s learning beautifully. 

Also, many colleagues with the same amount of experience still have distinct personal backgrounds that allow them insight into our work. For example, some partners were raised in poverty, while others were raised in financial security. Some were raised in immigrant families, while others were born as the 7th generation in MA. Due to the breadth of our work, your partner’s experience in their individual upbringing and environment applies directly to the interpreting field. Sharing this insight is a valuable offering toward becoming more equipped providers in our communities.

How much time will I need to commit?

We ask that partners connect for at least one hour per week. However, the specific amount of time spent will be dependent on the goals, availability and willingness of each partner pair. 

Will the personal and professional information I share through the Bridge Program be kept confidential?

Yes. All program participants are expected to adhere to RID’s Code of Professional Conduct at all times.

Will I be compensated/Is there a cost to be involved?

This program is 100% volunteer-based. Partners will not be financially compensated for their time and involvement with Novin’s Bridge Program. We strongly believe that this should be a space for learning, growth, and giving back to our community in a meaningful way. We recognize that our communities are struggling during this difficult financial time, and our hope is to provide a platform for peer learning that does not further tax any participant financially.