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‘Don’t Rush’ stenographer challenge

 NCRA members Shaunise Day and Denee’ Vadell recently organized a stenographer answer to the “Don’t Rush” challenge circulating on social media. They both talked to about the video.

Shaunise Day

I was recently up late scrolling on Instagram, and I noticed another social media challenge circulating. The “Don’t Rush” challenge consisted of many professionals representing their profession. As I watched the videos, I noticed that there were professionals such as doctors, nurses, teachers, police officers, flight attendants, pilots, women in the military, postal workers, beauticians, and many more. 

The challenge consisted of each participant changing into two different looks. The first clip was of the professional in their work attire and their second look was their “it’s after 5 p.m., and I’m clocking out” attire. One of the focus points in the challenge was to use a prop associated with the profession. Other professionals used props such as an army hat, a doctor’s white coat, a stethoscope, a badge, a makeup brush — basically whatever item or tool that is a necessity in their profession. I knew that this would be a great opportunity to show off and represent our profession and a great way to get my steno friends involved and come together virtually during this pandemic. What better way to promote our profession and get the public inquiring about stenography? 

It is up to us to make sure that we stay relevant and bring awareness to our unique craft. We must continue to let the world know who we are and what we do. As technology continues to evolve, so will we, but it will be up to us to keep spreading the word and promoting our profession.  

Right now challenges are a big deal on social media. Everyone is participating in these fun challenges and making the best out of their new quarantined lifestyle. Be sure to add TikTok to your dictionary. 

I decided to send a mass message to my steno friends to see who would be up for the challenge. After confirming a few who would be interested, I decided to reach out to a few more friends on Facebook. Lo and behold, we had a total of 15 stenographers who wanted to get in on the challenge. I knew for a fact that I would need assistance with putting this project together, so I reached out to my steno sister Denee’ Vadell to help with this, and she was ready to get busy. 

The concept was to have all stenographers make two video clips, classy vs. sassy. The first video clip would display the stenographer “on the record” or live captioning in her business-professional or business-casual attire. The second video clip would reflect the stenographer “off the record” and ready to play hard after working hard, looking glamorous and feeling beautiful even after a hard day of work. The prop we chose for our challenge was the steno machine, of course. With the prop, you use that to transition from classy to sassy and then use the same prop to transition to the next stenographer.  

Denee’ Vadell

When Shaunise reached out to me, I was all in! I immediately had a vision, discussed it with her, made an example video to present my vision, and we were all set to go to make this happen.  I loved watching all the other professionals do their videos and represent their professions, so it made total sense to represent ours as well.  

Making this video meant more than just completing a challenge. It meant to me that we can use social media to make a huge difference in our field and in the world. Making fun videos like this and sharing it gives people a sense of hope.  Hope that there are still careers out there that, even during a global health pandemic, can still thrive and will allow you to provide for your family from the comfort of your home. Hope that you can learn a brand new craft and make a career change without drowning in debt for the next 30 years. Hope that we can reach a high school student missing their graduation who still has not committed to a college. As they scroll through Instagram or Facebook, they see these beautiful, happy professionals in this video with this amazing-looking machine. “What is that? Who are they? What do they do? Maybe I can go to school for that. Let me reach out to one of the people in the video to find out more information.” If we were able to spark any hope, joy, enlightenment, or mind-set shift to anyone who came across the video, we did our job.

We had stenographers from different cities participate in this challenge, and we all had so much fun doing it. I thought dressing up while quarantined to go absolutely nowhere would feel so odd, but ironically it felt really good and it was actually needed.

After all the videos were done, Shaunise sent them to me in an email one by one in the order that she wanted the videos to go, and then I went to work editing them to make it flow flawlessly and on beat to the music.

Court reporting changed my life for the better. This field gave me amazing opportunities, and I feel blessed to be in this profession with such amazing, talented, and intelligent individuals. I want to help pave the way for others as others paved the way for me. I have had a few mentors and motivators along the way, including Annette Arlequin, RPR, CRR, a freelancer in South Amboy, N.J., who introduced me to this field and motivated me to graduate from court reporting school; Charisse Kitt, RMR, CRI, an official from Somerset, N.J., who has been my mentor and guided me to becoming an official for the state of New York; and Anissa R. Nierenberger, RPR, CRR, CRC, CRI, a captioner in Boise, Idaho, who showed me the way in the captioning world. 

Our goal was to spread awareness, positivity, light, hope, and some happiness to the world through stenography, and I think we did just that considering that our video reached over 3K views on YouTube to date.

Here are the proud stenographers that participated in the challenge.

Jeseca Eddington, RDR, CRR, CRC, an official from Detroit, Mich.

Jacqueline Kimbrough, Dallas, Texas

Mekailah Lenora, Dallas, Texas

Kirstie Anderson, Chicago, Ill.

Stephanie Hicks, Bronx, N.Y.

Johanne Smith, Woodbridge, N.J.

Melissa Clark, a freelancer from Greencastle, Pa.

Shacara Mapp, a freelancer from Sterling Heights, Mich.

Vee Yeargin (Vertina Evans), a freelancer from Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

Raniesha Mone’t, Queens, N.Y.

Roberta McCoy-Sims Turner, RPR, a freelancer from Apopka, Fla.

Ronnecia Dupree-Boyd, Moreno, Ca.

Sherry Knox-Curtis, Camp Springs, Md.

Diane Cuttino-Salters, West Hempstead, N.Y.

Denee’ Vadell, Bronx, N.Y.

Shaunise Day is a student from Oakland, Calif. Denee’ Vadell is an official from Edison, N.J.