Essay Winners

Dana Webb 3  
   President's Message
   By Dana Webb, TCRA President

            As we wrap up the Thanksgiving holiday, it is my hope and prayer that each and every one of you took time to truly reflect on the good in your life and to fully appreciate our loved ones, both in our family life and in that of our professional life.  It is so easy to get wrapped up in our daily    routine and in the hustle and bustle of the day that we often tend to forget to stop and appreciate that which is the most important to us. 

          One thing we must also be thankful for is our profession, one that has been so good to my family and I hope that each of you feels the same.  I am often asked about my career.  It gives me great joy to tell about how it is interesting and that every day is different, it provides for a great     income and can oftentimes be very flexible.   Get out and share the word about what you do and be proud of it!!  Hopefully, this will encourage others to look in to the field of court reporting so that one day they too can look back and be thankful for this wonderful career.

          On a different note, your TCRA board and fellow members have been very busy these past couple of months.  We had many members volunteer their time by promoting Court Reporting at the Tennessee School Counselor’s Convention in September.  Our convention committee has been working diligently to make sure that our annual convention coming up in April will be a success (more details to follow).  Please make sure to read the entire newsletter to stay informed of the    exciting upcoming events and more information on how you can get involved. 

          In closing, I wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a happy holiday season.  Don’t forget to slow down and take it all in, reflect on the special moments and savor the relationships in your lives.  


Dana Webb

TCRA President                           


2018 Student Scholarship Essay Winner

Cristine Kuo, Essay Winner

Each year TCRA sponsors a scholarship for court reporting students.  Students may participate in the program by writing a short essay.  The student scholarships are awarded to deserving students each year at our Annual Convention.  This year we had some great essays submitted from several students.  It is so inspiring to read their essays and to hear the passion and enthusiasm in their words.

Cristine Kuo is our 2018 recipient of the Tiffany Brosemer Student Scholarship Essay Contest. Congratulations, Cristine!

Read Cristine's essay below.

2018 Scholarship Winner

"Why I Want to Be a Court Reporter"
Tiffany Brosemer Student Scholarship Fund Essay
Submitted by: Cristine Kuo

               If you ask a child, whether they are in middle or high school, what they want to be when they grow up, the usual response is, “I want to be a teacher! I want to be a lawyer! I want to be a doctor!” Well, if you asked me that question my response is, “I have no stinkin’ idea what I want to be. Both of my parents are restaurant owners, so I suppose that’s what I’m going to become, a restaurant owner.”

               Luckily for me, my high school invited every 10th grader to attend a career fair. I kept my mind open for options hoping something will catch my eye and that’s when I saw, a woman sitting so straight and poised, with a business attire on. She seems so happy and focused. I walked up to her and watched her “type” away on some sort of keyboard. Someone shouted, “How are you typing all of those words so quickly? What is that machine called?”

               The woman was very kind and answered all our questions and told us that she was a court reporter and her machine was called a steno machine. She was not typing but writing on her machine. I was so intrigued. I think I found my calling.

               I graduated high school and went on to receive my degree in English, but in the back of my mind I still had a lingering thought of wanting to become a court reporter. I contacted Brown College of Court Reporting located in Atlanta, GA. Two and half years into school, here I am now, still wanting to become a court reporter. It’s taking some time, but I know I will get there eventually.            


"Why I Want to Become a Captioner"

Essay By:  Jeffrey Little

2009 Scholarship Winner

There was a day when my mom, who is hearing impaired and has to watch television with the closed captioning on, came to me with an article about closed captioning as a career. She mentioned something about learning court reporting, and using those skills to move into captioning.  I initially dismissed the idea, but as I continued to research careers, I decided to humor her and check it out.  To my surprise, the career sounded too good to be true, and everything I was looking for.

Another reason I became so interested in the field is that I was in a car accident two years ago, and severed my brachial artery.  This injury rendered me unable to move my thuimb.  This was very frustrating, but after six months of no motion in my thumb, it began to move.  A few weeks after that, I had full use of it again.  Having played guitar for many years, I greatly enjoy using my fingers.  The idea thatI could find a good, stable career using my fingers appealed to me greatly.

I researched court reporting and closed captioning, which ultimately led me to enroll in the College of Court Reporting in Hobart, Indiana. My experience there has been nothing short of phenomenal, and I can feel that this is the career path that I'm meant to take.

2014 Student Scholarship Essay Winner

Deborah King, Essay Winner

Each year TCRA sponsors a scholarship for court reporting students.  Students may participate in the program by writing a short essay.  The student scholarships are awarded to deserving students each year at our Annual Convention.  This year we had some great essays submitted from several students.  It is so inspiring to read their essays and to hear the passion and enthusiasm in their words.  

Deborah King is our 2014 recipient of the Tiffany Brosemer Student Scholarship Essay Contest.  Congratulations, Deborah!

Read Deborah's essay below.  

"Why I Want to Be a Court Reporter"

Why in the world do I want to be a court reporter?!  Trust me, this is a question that I have asked myself many, many times in the years since I began school.  There have been times over the last four years when I have been so close to quitting, just throwing in the towel, because I have not progressed with my speed as quickly as I had hoped.  Like countless other court reporting students, I have had times of frustration, exasperation, and oh so many tears.  

It is during these times that I sit down and have a heart-to-heart with myself about why I would want to continue on a path that is so very difficult, so skill-oriented, that very few actually see the end.  Ultimately, it comes down to passion.  I have developed a passion for steno over the past four years.  Albeit a love/hate relationship, it is a strong relationship nonetheless.  I know this because, at those times where I become frustrated and force myself to take a break from the machine, I absolutely cannot stop thinking about it.  When I am reading or watching TV, I find myself constantly thinking about how I would write that word in steno or telling myself to make a mental note of a difficult word for future reference.

When I am on my machine practicing or testing, I feel at home.  My skill is not nearly at the level I would like it to be, but the process of developing that skill and seeing the progress is addictive to me.  The feeling of having passed a test is like no other.  My family and friends are happy for me, but they cannot truly understand my elation of passing one test when I have failed hundreds before.

This passion for steno is what keeps me going down this path - that and the knowledge that, once I attain my speed and pass my certification, I will be part of an elite group of court reporters, captioners, and CART providers who have all traveled down that same path and made it.  Over the last four years, I have realized that ultimately it does not matter how long it takes you to get down the path, as long as you do not get off.  The reward at the end will be worth the work it took to get there.

2013 Student Scholarship Essay Winner

Melina Lyons, Essay Winner

"Why I Want to Be a Captioner"

I'm very interested in the world of captioning. I've always wanted to learn sign language since I was a young adult. I bought sign language learning tapes and a sign language reference book. I started to practice with one of my sisters. I also would stand in front of a mirror to see myself trying to sign. Sometimes I would imagine not being able to talk or hear, then using my hands to communicate. Sadly things were too complicated with home-life so I had to put sign language aside. A few years passed and I would look at my sign language book wishing I had pursued this way of communicating. I remember working as a medical transcriptionist and a younger sister told me about court reporting. She said she was going to school to learn to become a court reporter. She passed her classes and accepted a job as court reporter. She would take me to lunch and talk about her job. I listened and tried to imagine what her job was like. She would describe how being in court was like or working a deposition. At that time, it didn't seem like something I wanted to do. She told me I should look into being a court reporter because there are different options. Well, I ended up being laid off from my hospital job and decided to enroll in Theory I at Southwest. Then shortly, I became pregnant with my son and had to discontinue school when he was born. I figured I'd put things on hold and devote time raising my son. My sister again reminded me of court reporting and pushed me to get back into this field of study. I couldn't afford tuition so I tried teaching myself.  I signed up to take the certification test only to fail it twice each year. I was ready to give up. My co-workers and sister pushed me to keep trying. So I decided to research this career more and found out that I could be a court reporter working with closed captioning. I thought to myself "finally, a chance to be exposed to that world of language." I knew this would be my chance to pursue what I had started years ago. Well, I enrolled at Southwest at the beginning of 2013 waiting to see how this challenge will end.