Reanna Buzza, a student at the Community College of Allegheny County (CCAC) in Pittsburgh, Pa.; Blythe Warwas, a student at Anoka Technical College in Anoka, Minn.; and Luisa Vertucci, a graduate of Plaza College in Forest Hills, N.Y.; have been named this year’s winners of the National Court Reporters Foundation (NCRF) Student Intern Scholarships.
“We at NCRF are so proud that these three remarkable students have earned our Student Intern Scholarships,” said NCRF Chair Marjorie A. Peters, FAPR, RMR, CRR, a freelance court reporter, CART provider, captioner, and firm owner from Alexandria, Va. “We are delighted to honor their accomplishments and dedication with this award.”
The Student Intern Scholarship is a $1,000 award given annually to a high-achieving court reporting student who has completed the internship portion of their education. This year three students were awarded the scholarships since only one was awarded in 2022. Recipients are nominated by their schools and must fulfill scholarship requirements including completing an essay on a topic of current interest.
The NCRF scholarship program seeks to ensure that rising student court reporters and newly appointed court reporters receive encouragement and incentives to learn and strive for excellence. The scholarship program was created to help foster dedication from both groups and is supported by donations. Donations to NCRF campaigns are tax deductible.
Buzza said that the scholarship has given her the financial support she needed to pay for her last semester of school.
“In the fall of 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic, I was struggling as a remote special education teacher in Memphis, Tennessee. I saw a TikTok of a reporter explaining her writer and what her job was, and I knew that was what I wanted to do,” Buzza said.
She said she found out about CCAC from the NCRA website and realized it was located in the county where she grew up. She called the school for more information and enrolled in November 2022.
Warwas said that she is excited to have won the scholarship and noted that one of the biggest things it means to her is that she could not have gotten to where she is on her own. She added that she wouldn’t have known about the scholarship unless her lead instructor had told her about it.
“Aside from the core judicial reporting training, the advice and encouragement I have been given by my instructors have made all the difference in my stenographic court reporting journey. The confidence my teachers have shown in me has fortified my own resolve time and time again,” she said.
Warwas said she first became interested in court reporting on the mechanical side of the work, the steno machine.
“Growing up I loved to type. I loved the rhythm of the keystrokes, the pursuit of ever-increasing speed, and the challenge of writing something again and again until I’d wiped out every mistake. When I learned the gist of the phonetic, all-at-once writing that could be achieved with a steno machine, I was intrigued. Along the way I caught the fire for capturing and protecting the record,” she said.
Warwas plans to become an official court reporter and hopes to be a steadfast guardian of the record so she can play a part in keeping her district fair and safe. She also plans to pursue her Registered Professional Reporter (RPR) certification from NCRA as well as stay involved with court reporting associations.
Vertucci began her career as a stenographic court reporter in her native country of Italy. She spent 20 years reporting in Italy before deciding to become an American court reporter. She enrolled in Plaza College and is the first student from that school to win this scholarship.
“To be honest, it took a lot of courage to move across the ocean and to perfect a new language. It was my determination, motivation, and attitude that helped me to get here — for these values I owe a great debt to my parents who guided me in every stage of my life. What I hope for my future is to be an excellent freelance court reporter and give back to the community, helping others pursue this extraordinary career,” she said.
Click here to hear more about what each of these scholarship winners had to say about winning the scholarships and their future plans.
Visit the NCRF scholarships and grants page for a full list of opportunities offered.