I will try to make this short! My boyfriend at the time (now fiancé) who was a videographer introduced me to court reporting along with his cousin who was a court reporter.
I transferred from Montclair State University, Montclair, N.J., studying linguistics and speech pathology to court reporting school because I knew it would take me half the time to finish school, less student loan debt, and I would be making the same amount of money or more right out of school. I also fell in love with the machine at orientation. I mean who didn’t immediately fall in love with the machine?!
I got pregnant during theory! Got up to 100 wpm and took maternity leave a few weeks before being induced. I had my steno baby and took six months off of school.
My mom helped me with the baby so I could go back. I worked my butt off while working different jobs such as bartending and working overnight at Walmart from 10:30 p.m. to 7 a.m. and then went straight to school. Got out of school and went straight to get the baby.
It was not easy!!! It took me three years to finish including the maternity leave, but it was 1000 percent worth it.
I started out doing CART for Rutgers for about four years, did captioning full time for VITAC for a year, and then became an official because I wanted more stability for my family.
Between becoming a full-time captioner and then an official, we were able to close on our first home.
But let me tell you, this career is so rewarding. Between keeping the record for important life-changing trials to providing closed captions to the hearing impaired and deaf community to ensure equal access, I feel fulfilled, and I feel that I am living a life of purpose and service. I truly love what I do.
If you are in school, keep going, because I promise you it will be worth it. And if you’re thinking about making a career switch, DO it. Us court reporters, captioners and CART providers live beautiful lives. 💫🙌🏽
#stenofluencer #courtreporter #captioner #stenolife #beautifullife #blackhistorymonth
Denee Vadell is an official court reporter in Edison, N.J. See the post here.