Volunteering: One of the Best Things You Will Ever Do

FranSamuel2014by Francesca Samuel There was a time when most people would be quick to volunteer for a cause they believed in, give back to the community, or get involved in some type of charitable activity. How times have changed! Now, most people are interested in what you can get versus what you can give. Quite different from the way I was raised. My philosophy is “give and you shall receive,” and it has worked for me. I want to encourage you to rethink the way you think about volunteering. It is one of the best things you will ever do on this planet and the rewards are endless.

As I reflect upon my professional life as a translator, the words BC and AC come to mind. I am not comparing the ATA to God but, in fact, I think that most of us would that we have a “pre-ATA” and a “post-ATA” period in our professional lives. The pre-ATA period of my life is blasé at the very least, but my post-ATA period has been awesome and so very fulfilling in so many areas; professionally, financially, and perhaps the most important, personally. Looking back at the last 15 years of my life (I joined ATA in 1998), I cannot help but notice the huge changes that have occurred not only in our industry but in all of us.

It’s funny how things can change so dramatically and so quickly. Some may say change is for the better while others reject change and never feel completely comfortable with it. To me, change is imminent and necessary. It may seem negative or harsh at first, but in my mind, it is ALWAYS for the better. It may take some time to understand but sooner or later you realize there was a real good reason for it. That is why I fully embrace change. Good or bad, there is no other way to face it.

There have been many changes in the Spanish Language Division (SPD) since I joined. We are larger than ever with approximately 4,500 member. We are a lot more structured that we ever have been with multiple committees (professional development, web, social media, editorial, hospitality, student, and more) as part of the SPD Leadership Committee. Additionally, there is a lot more interaction between the different divisions, chapters, and affiliated groups.

I encourage each and every one of you to participate more actively in the SPD. Let us know if you have any questions or concerns. If there is a particular topic you would like to see be a part of the upcoming roster of sessions at the ATA Annual Conference in Chicago, please do not hesitate to contact any of us in the leadership committee. If you have a session that you would like to present at the upcoming ATA Annual Conference in Chicago, please feel free to fill out the proposal form http://www.atanet.org/conferencesandseminars/proposal.php by March 10, 2014. Be safe, be well, and enjoy the most spectacular time of the year.

Francesca Samuel
SPD Administrator

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