Congratulations to Victor Damptey, Recipient of the Distinguished Peer Award for Public Service!

March 15, 2022
Victor Damptey

His nominator writes:

Since starting MIT, Victor has been very involved in ActLingual, a student group dedicated to developing community service projects that use foreign language and cultural competency skills. He immediately knew that he wanted to combine his love for languages with his desire to be of service to others, which he did by co-leading a medical interpreting initiative through the club.

While spearheading this initiative, Victor became astutely aware of the existence and effects of the language barriers that non-English speakers face within the U.S. healthcare system. Specifically, language barriers prevent individuals from receiving equitable access to medical care. As a result, Victor became committed to the mission of breaking down these obstacles.

Last semester, Victor worked alongside the MIT Prehealth Advising office to offer an official medical interpreting course to MIT students during IAP. This achievement is significant because medical interpreting training is usually expensive, so providing this course at a subsidized cost allowed anyone to participate. Through this course, students were able to gain the necessary interpreting skills, medical knowledge, and cultural awareness to enact proper change in surrounding communities.

Victor knew that creating this opportunity would be challenging, due to the high barriers to becoming a medical interpreter. However, he still wanted to assist others through language, so he became an English as a Second Language (ESL) tutor for the MIT ESL Program for Service Employees. In this position, Victor has been able to mix his English and Spanish to aid in the lesson comprehension of a Salvadoran immigrant who works as an MIT custodian.