Essay Winners

Why I Still Want To Be A Captioner

Essay by:  Beverly Neal

2008 Scholarship Award Winner

When you tell someone you’re going to school to be a Broadcast Captioner, they either look at you with a blank stare or they just smile and nod, embarrassed to admit that they have no clue what you’re talking about.  I’ve even had one person reply, “Oh, you should be good at that; you have a nice voice.”  After explaining that Captioners are the people who type the words that show up on the television screen for the deaf and hard-of-hearing, they finally understand.  Captioning is just on of those professions that most people probably haven’t heard much about unless they’ve known someone who does it.  We’ve all seen the captioning on the screen, but we just don’t give much thought as to how it gets there.

I have to admit that before I started the program, I would have been one of these people.  I knew all about Court Reporters and their little machines, but I’d never seen or heard anything about Captioning and CART services.  The people providing these invaluable services seem to lead a low-key, quiet life, often going unnoticed.  Have they planned it that way in an attempt to keep this little jewel all to themselves?  Of course, for those of us looking to enter the field of Captioning or CART, this isn’t all bad.  It should certainly mean less competition when it actually comes time for us to find jobs.

But I think the time has come for Captioners and CART providers to stand up and be recognized for the work they do.  The service provided by these professionals is helping to connect those who might otherwise be shut off from the rest of the world.  They are making it possible for young people to attain their goals in education and for others to participate more fully in their jobs, as well as society in general.  To be a part of this is an exciting prospect.

Be warned, this challenging program is not for the faint of heart.  In fact, there should be caution signs all along the way warning those who are afraid of hard work to stand back, but with practice and perseverance we will make it through this program.  And when we do, let’s make a lot of noise and let the world know who we are and what we do!

Why I Want To Be A Court Reporter

Essay by:  Amber Thompson

2008 Scholarship Award Winner

When I first started court-reporting school, I was attracted to the perks of flexible schedule, working from home, and the potential income. Although these things still motivate me, court reporting is something that I have come to enjoy and has helped me find confidence in myself.  I have finally found something that clicks for me.  My drive and determination has been the same from the first day of school to the last, and even now as our school recently shut down and I strive to reach the finish line.  The challenge of pushing yourself everyday and the reward of self-satisfaction cannot be described in words.

Going back to school four years ago was a decision that I knew I needed to make for me and for my family.  I attended several schools and changed my major numerous times. Every career I looked into, all I could think was I do not want to do that for 40 plus years of my life.

I recently sat for the RPR skills test and spoke to a veteran court reporter taking her RMR.  She told me how much she loved court reporting and could never imagine doing anything else.  She talked about her career with such enthusiasm and sincerity it made me confident that I had chosen the right profession.

I want to look back in 40 years and say enthusiastically and sincerely that I loved my job and could never imagine doing anything else.  I want to be financially stable, knowing my career shaped that path.  I want to say I experienced a lot in my lifetime, knowing court reporting had provided the opportunities.  I want to look at my children and know I had given them a good life and education; knowing court reporting made it possible.

I am looking forward to the next 40 years.