Recently, high school interns of the Korean American Youth Leaders in Training (KAYLT) program hosted an awareness event called “Breaking Language Barriers in Healthcare” to garner support for the SB 223, a state senate bill that would require healthcare services to provide patients with language interpretation services.
The event started at 6 o’clock on the evening of July 29 in Suite 334 of the Harbor Building on 4201 Wilshire Boulevard.
The KAYLT program trains high school and college students to become active leaders by teaching participants community organizing, which greatly differs from community service. While community service provides people with short-lasting benefits from cleaning trash or repainting fences, community organizing voices people’s opinions on political and social issues to directly empower them.
Jefferson Suh, a KAYLT intern and rising junior at Los Angeles Center for Enriched Studies (LACES), commented that “There is so much more that I can do for people than I thought I could. By creating lasting change through community organizing, I learned that the ability to make change is not as out of reach as we believe it is.”
The interns were tasked with planning and executing an original community organizing project from scratch, and the interns decided to tackle language barrier problems by pushing for support of the SB 223, which they believe would help many families struggling with limited English proficiency (LEP) for fair access to healthcare.
“Even though it may be just one bill, it enables LEP (limited English proficiency) speakers to understand the documents and services they are receiving related to their own health. It doesn’t make sense that they have access to healthcare but can’t take advantage of it because they can’t understand English,” Jefferson expressed.
Not only through this event, but the high school interns look forward to seeing many others supporting fair access to healthcare into the future.