A Text for Tuition contest, sponsored by NCRA as part of its Take Note campaign, pitted high school students against a court reporter on April 8 in Philadelphia, drawing the attention of the local CBS affiliate. Ryan Hettle, a 16-year-old student, won the event that was held at Orleans Technical College and earned a $1,000 scholarship to court reporting school.
“This was a perfect fit for our program and perfect fit for the high school students to come in and witness what it’s like to write for a living,” said Bruce Wartman, the technology education director for Orleans Technical College. “They now have a greater appreciation for the necessity of proper punctuation, proper capitalization, and sentence structure, and basically the editing process when they’re creating a transcript.”
In addition, Wartman saw value in the competition for the court reporting students at Orleans Technical College as well. “For our students, it highlighted what they’re learning as a court reporter even more because they see how important it is in the real world; they see the importance of accuracy … Mistakes change the meaning,” Wartman said.
This scholarship contest was the first of its kind, but Wartman said the event could be replicated with the same success at other schools. “I think this could be repeated at other schools just to create greater awareness of the importance and the need for this field,” he said, adding, “Young people text just as a natural form of communication. They’re not really thinking about, There could be a career option with this type of writing. Engaging the younger demographic is important because it opens up their minds to a career they may not even know exists.”