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Envision your future

By Chris DeGrazio

If I asked you what vision you have for yourself, what would you say?

In December 2022, Denee’ Vadell, RPR, Stephanie Hicks, RMR, and Carrie Hewerdine, RDR, hosted a virtual vision board party where students and reporters created vision boards while uplifting music played. Some people used posterboard and magazine clippings, while others created theirs electronically. I ended up doing both and loving the experience. Tunes were jamming and people were vibing and leaning side to side as they got creative with their colleagues.

Passing a specific speed, graduating, becoming certified, paying off debts, traveling, and living a healthy and more balanced life are some of the visions that became realities for some of the attendees.

What do you envision for yourself?

I remember the first time I learned what a vision board was. I thought the idea was silly. I’ve always respected and appreciated the value and motivation they provide others, but I never saw myself as someone who would be into that sort of thing.

What appealed to me was the social element. Being able to spend time with friends and be creative? Heck yeah!

May your year be filled with insights. May your health be good. May your visions become realities.

Chris DeGrazio is a freelance court reporter from Fort Pierce, Fla. He can be reached at

Thank you to the people who shared their visions for the past year:

The vision board party was amazing and very unique. Denee’ has a special way of always making people feel comfortable and cheering them on.

One of my goals was to earn my RPR, which Denee’ helped me with by encouraging me. We were determined to accomplish our goals, and I was able to become certified in January 2023.

I loved the way everyone collaborated together to make goals a reality, which was lovely because everyone was in the comfort of their own home but on camera together while Denee’ provided great music to set the tone for a magical evening.

I loved it and would definitely continue to attend these because Denee’s energy is magnetic!

Aralin Camacho, RPR, White Plains, N.Y.

My board is in a frame next to my makeup station. I look at it every day and repeat out loud the goals I plan to achieve. It makes me smile, looking at the creativity I put into this special creation, knowing my mantra is coming to fruition. P.S. I still listen to the music you played for inspiration!

Lisa Neal, RPR, Philadelphia, Pa.

I was excited about the vision board party with Denee’ and Stephanie. I had a lot of fun. I passed my CCRA Certified CART Generalist exam and paid off credit card debt.

Felicia Price, Pacoima, Calif.

My virtual vision board helped me focus on the upcoming year. I’ve had many local adventures, focused on improving my skills, and started volunteering at our local animal shelter. Next year, I’m going to get to the travel part!

Amanda Lundberg, RPR, CRC, Houston, Pa.

It’s great to see your goals that are in your head and heart visualized on the vision board. It motivates you into action to complete the tasks needed to accomplish your goals.

Bernice Whitlock, Bronx, N.Y.

The vision board party was such an amazing experience and confidence boost. My vision board manifested for me to obtain my RSR, RPR, and my Arizona state license. In March I obtained my RSR; in April I obtained my Washington state license; in July I obtained my RPR; and in October I obtained my Arizona state license. I kept my vision board where I could always see it in my office at home, and it was a great motivator. Going through the process of finding all the words of encouragement and affirmation to add to my board was so fulfilling, imagining how great I wanted to be and knew I could be.

I love doing anything with the steno community, virtual or in person, and being surrounded by like-minded friends working toward a career in this profession made it that much more memorable and meaningful! I can’t wait to see what I whip up for my vision board for 2024!

McKalie Bellew, RPR, Florence, Ariz.

After attending the virtual vision board party, I finally had enough courage to make the change in my career that I’ve always been scared to do. I went from freelance to court and passed the state court test. Never let fear stop you from achieving your goals! Thank you so much for all that you do to promote steno.

Anna Monchas-Gorvitz, Staten Island, N.Y.

This event was everything! Denee’ Vadell’s playlist + Carrie Hewerdine’s energy + everyone’s positive energy and focus on the task at hand. My vision board turned out amazing! Can’t wait to add to it over the course of the year and accomplish all of my goals!

Stephanie Hicks, RMR, Bronx, N.Y.

Last year’s vision board party gave me a chance with like-minded individuals to sit quietly and allow visions of the future to seep below the surface of just thinking about it. I kept focusing on more time for me, and I got just that. Several vacations during the year, but the same amount of money billed as the previous year. So win-win.

Carrie Hewerdine, RDR, Albuquerque, N.M.

Vision boards help you visualize your success. By looking at your vision board daily, you immerse yourself in a visual representation of what you want or hope to achieve. This helps create a positive and powerful image in your mind while making you believe in your ability to achieve your goals.

Once I started creating vision boards, the game changed! In the last five years, I put goals and dreams on my vision board, such as becoming a homeowner, getting my RPR, getting a black luxury car, having a destination wedding, traveling more, combining love and money, and saving money. I’ve achieved all of the above! I truly believe in the famous quote, “Write the vision and make it plain.”

I realized that vision boards changed my life and I wanted to share it with the steno community and anyone else who was interested, so I hosted a virtual vision board party for stenographers and also had them invite friends and family to join in with them.

I asked my steno bestie, Stephanie Hicks, RMR, if she would host it with me and then I asked Carrie Hewerdine, RDR, if she would be our special guest. The party was so successful. I plan on hosting one every year even if I don’t need to create a new board.

Denee’ Vadell, RPR, Edison, N.J.