Ginger Thompson began her college career at the University of Minnesota–Duluth, where she majored in computer science. Intrigued by the ASL classes she was taking, she researched interpreting programs in Minnesota.
A few years after earning her degree in ASL interpreting from St. Kate's, Ginger packed up her car and headed west, looking for adventure — and work. Even as far away as Olympia, Washington, her credentials carried special significance.
“If I mention in the Deaf community out here that I went to St. Kate’s, everyone says, ‘Oh, aren’t you fancy?’ They know St. Kate’s and have worked with our graduates. They are really impressed by my degree.”
Olympia is the capital of Washington, and much of Ginger's freelance interpreting jobs involve the workings of government. Though she came into town with no connections, Ginger has credentials, ready translation skills and a professional certification that have helped her build a strong client base among influential leaders in the local Deaf community.
Should her wanderlust kick in again, Ginger is confident she’ll find interpreting work elsewhere. “In the national Deaf community, saying you graduated from St. Kate’s is like playing the Harvard card,” she says. “People who are in the know give it a lot of respect.”