When Elizabeth Colón started Metaphrasis—her successful comprehensive interpreting and translation company that emphasizes understanding the importance of culture and context in language communication—she had all of $500 for startup and worked out of her home wearing multiple hats as she founded and ran the business.

“To make people believe I had a larger staff than just myself,” she says, “I used to answer the phone using different voices.” She persevered, growing Metaphrasis into the successful business it is today, in order to prove to herself that despite discouraging messages she’d received in other jobs, she could succeed. Even so, she feels she has succeeded beyond anything she expected.

Elizabeth began her college education at Wright College before transferring to Aurora University for nursing.

Her Wright experience revealed to her how much she loved science. Instructors were key in mentoring her through these classes and she felt they displayed a devotion to their students and were always encouraging. Though at the time she felt Wright was such a big place, after a recent visit she realized how accessible it is for students. As a student, she loved the diversity of Wright College, and was pleased to be able to engage with so many people with different backgrounds, an experience she finds beneficial now in running her business. The culture of Wright was always welcoming, encouraging, and the message that nothing is impossible was prevalent.

In looking at what she has accomplished, Elizabeth says that she would encourage Hispanic students who have doubts about what they can accomplish, doubts about being able to succeed in college, to visit a CCC campus and experience the environment, see how close knit and connected the community of faculty, staff, and students is. With the smaller size and the support of the community, students who might be hesitant about a larger school, who might be feeling overwhelmed, can gain confidence and move on and succeed at a four-year school.

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