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Still time to celebrate your certification in May

There is still time to take part in Celebrate Certification Month! Be proud of your achievement and use NCRA resources to spread the word.

Be sure to check out the NCRA Celebrate Certification Month resource page, which houses a selection of free, downloadable resources that can be used to celebrate throughout May. Resources include a variety of career flyers, press release templates, handouts about what each certification means, information about the benefits of working with a nationally certified professional, and more. New to the list of resources this year are specially designed Facebook profile frames, as well as backdrops to use in Zoom calls and other online platforms.

Connie Church, RPR, CRR, CRC, a freelance reporter and CART Captioner in Montesano, Wash., has been celebrating this month. “I’ve been a reporter since 1983 and have worked to receive certifications over the years through NCRA in addition to passing my Washington State Certified Court Reporter exam,” Church said. “I believe it’s important to keep current with knowledge in our profession and keep my skills at a high level all through my career as a reporter. I’ve obtained and am proud of receiving my RPR, CRR, and CRC through NCRA and feel confident when I go into a job, whether it’s a deposition, a trial, or a CART captioning setting, I am prepared for each assignment.”  

Another way to celebrate your pride in your certification is to save on customized items. Take advantage of 20 percent off all customized items on May 26 through 28 at the NCRA Merchandise Shop.

Choose from a variety of items such as clothing, accessories, gifts, and more, and customize them with your favorite NCRA, NCRF, I Love Steno, NCRA STRONG, or official certification logos.

As this month ends, some NCRA members shared words of encouragement to anyone working on their first certification or additional ones:

“Never give up! No matter how hard it seems, how long it takes to get there, or how many times you had to take a test, the only one that counts is the one you passed!”

Shacara Mapp, RPR, CRR, a freelance reporter and CART captioner in Sterling Heights, Mich.

“Practice doesn’t mean perfect, but it does mean passed. Be patient and trust the process.”

Margary Rogers, RPR, CRI, an official in Washington, D.C.

“Forgive yourself when you don’t get the grade you want. And believe in your ability to earn it next time.”

Chris DeGrazio, a freelancer in Fort Pierce, Fla.

“Don’t overthink it. Just write!”

Lisa Claud Neal, RPR, an official in Philadelphia, Pa.

“Success is no accident. It is hard work, perseverance, patience, sacrifice, and love of what you’re learning or doing. Time will pass regardless. You may as well improve yourself along the way.”

Sheri Smargon, RDR, CRR, CRC, a CART captioner and freelancer reporter in Riverview, Fla.

“I’m a brand-new RPR, and sometimes I remember how 60 wpm felt difficult, then 100, 180, etc. And yet each of them was completely achievable. In the same way, I think if you just keep going, there’s no test that is beyond you. And yes, like everyone says, see if you can learn to love to practice. Once it becomes fun, you’re halfway there.”

Jessica Shines, RPR, a freelance reporter in Chicago, Ill.

“No matter where you are in your journey, whether a working stenographer or if you are a student striving for that first certification, never stop practicing! The more you practice, the more you know your dictionary. The more you know your dictionary, the less hesitation you will have when testing or on the job! You can and will accomplish your goals! You’ve got this!”

Carol Naughton, RDR, an official in Virginia Beach, Va.

“Don’t compare your accomplishments to other people’s … simply strive to write cleaner or faster or shorter (or all three) than you did yesterday. You are your own competition to getting those certifications!”

Leah Willersdorf, RPR, CRR, a freelance reporter and CART captioner in London, England

“Be consistent with your daily practice. Don’t give up. Keep going. You will get over the hump. My 225 teacher in school once told us: Once you pass that NJ CSR … you’ll realize it’s the hardest thing you’ve ever done and it will feel so good.”

Rich Germosen, RDR, CRR, a freelancer in North Brunswick, N.J.

“You got this! The best is yet to come!”

Sherry Knox, a CART captioner in Camp Spring, Md.

“We only fail when we quit trying. There’s always another rung to aim for!”

Melanie Humphrey-Sonntag, FAPR, RDR, CRR, CRC, an official in Cheyenne, Wyo.

“Skill is crucial, but I believe it all hinges on the mindset. Before any big test, I would play a song by The Polish Ambassador and sing along: ‘I am amazing. I am unique. I can be anything. I will succeed!’”

Molly Cooper, RPR, a freelance reporter in Fullerton, Calif.