The first-ever Monyeen Black Memorial Grant was awarded during the 2021 NCRA Conference & Expo held July 29-Aug. 1 in Las Vegas, Nev., to Taylor Maldonado, RPR, an official court reporter from Dos Palos, Calif. The grant was presented by Rich Germosen, RDR, CRR, a freelancer from North Brunswick, N.J., and chair of the NCRF Angels Gatherers Committee.
The grant was created in memory of Monyeen Lee Black, RPR, CRR, a freelance court reporter and agency owner from Paso Robles, Calif., who was a dedicated member of Germosen’s 100-Day Challenge practice page on Facebook. The page’s purpose is to foster a community of those working to sharpen their skills daily, but the camaraderie on the page is what makes it so special.
On Oct. 30, 2020, Black messaged everyone in this Facebook group that her health had suddenly changed and she could no longer practice. She explained that she did not yet have a diagnosis but testing was underway. Tragically, Mo died on Jan. 11, 2021, due to complications from dermatomyositis.
In the Facebook practice group, members added extra practice time to #BringItHomeForMo, and they requested that the Foundation create a memorial fundraiser.
With more than 70 donations, Black became a posthumous 2021 NCRF first-year Angel. Germosen and the group’s members helped to establish the new grant, which to date has already received enough donations to be funded through 2027.
“Monyeen Black, affectionately referred to as ‘Mo,’ was a fellow stenographer from California who was part of the 100-day practice group on Facebook,” Germosen said during the announcement. “She was a special person whom we lost too soon last Jan. 11. We wanted to honor Mo’s memory with this new professional grant,” he added.
“First and foremost, I would like to thank the Foundation for selecting me to receive the first-ever Monyeen Black Memorial Grant,” Maldonado said. “It is a true honor to have been selected out of the many deserving new professional stenographers. Although I may have never met Monyeen, I am honored to have been chosen.”
Maldonado said she first heard of Monyeen’s story when she joined the 100-Day Practice Challenge on Facebook while trying to earn her RPR certification. “In the middle of my 100 days, there was an opportunity to join an additional 100-day challenge to show support for Monyeen as she was battling her illness. ‘Count me in’ was all I was thinking, as I wanted to support her,” she added.
Maldonado intends to apply her grant toward her professional writer as she works toward passing her CRR exam. “I’ll be forever grateful for this grant,” she said, “and I hope to make Monyeen proud as I further my career.”
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Donations for the Monyeen Black Memorial Grant are being accepted through MobileCause by texting the keyword monyeen to 41444 or use the link.
For information about this grant and other Foundation offerings, contact Jill Parker Landsman, NCRF manager, at firstname.lastname@example.org.