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 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 3 years to finish including the maternity leave, but it was 1000 percent worth it.
I started out doing CART for Rutgers for about 4 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.