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Six student winners announced for latest Career Launcher Scholarship drawings

By Jill Parker Landsman

The National Court Reporters Foundation Career Launcher training program has continually been gaining momentum. To close out the 2023 Career Launcher scholarship program, Cynthia R. Bruce, Senior Director of Education and Certification for NCRA, and Jill Parker Landsman, NCRF Manager, have announced the latest recipients of the Career Launcher Student awards. Winners were selected in a random January 2024 drawing at the NCRA headquarters in Reston, Va. Interested students can apply for the next drawing before the deadline of March 15, 2024.

For the 2023 fourth quarter, six students’ names were pulled, thanks to the generous support of NCRF donors. Recipients for that quarter’s grants are:

L to R: Lee, Lih, and Walker

  • Zelma Lee, North Chesterfield, Va., Simply Steno
  • Ariela Llanos, Santa Ana, Calif., South Coast College
  • Emelyn Lih, Astoria, N.Y., Plaza College
  • Jacqueline Mack, Brooklyn, N.Y., Alfred State
  • Karen Potter, Harrisville, R.I., Atlantic Technical College
  • Kelsey Walker, Normal, Ill., Tulsa Community College

Appreciative for the chance to have more deposition training, Emelyn Lih said, “Completing my internship revealed how much I still have to learn about the day-to-day details of court reporting in a deposition setting. I am thrilled to have the opportunity to feel more prepared for these challenges with the expert help of NCRA’s Career Launcher program.

“Along with practicing for the RPR, these training modules will help me accomplish my 2024 goals of working towards better performance not only in speed and accuracy but in professionalism and knowledge of different situations and circumstances. Thank you,” Lih said.

Eager to get started with Career Launcher and share its value with other students, Kelsey Walker is rolling up her sleeves. She said, “Oh, wow! This will be so helpful and could not have come at a better time. I recently acquired my RPR and am taking on my first handful of deps this month. 

“Thank you so much for running such a great program. I look forward to soaking in as much information as possible. I also can’t wait to recommend this to other baby reporters or students, because the transition from learning speed to the actual job is an insane struggle. I am very eager to have this as a stepping stone to help mold me into a great reporter,” Walker said.

Winner Zelma Lee said, “I’m excited to start the Career Launcher program because it will help me get prepared for the real world.”

“The Foundation is delighted to award these Career Launcher scholarships, which provide deposition training from the comfort of our awardees’ homes,” said NCRF Chair Doug Friend, FAPR, RDR, CRR (Ret.) “These learning modules provide real-world examples of what occurs in various deposition scenarios, and the Foundation is proud that Career Launcher gains more students and users each year.”

The NCRF Career Launcher training program is designed to provide deposition training and tips of the trade to serve as a bridge for students of steno shorthand and new professionals between graduation and their first job. The program is offered through the NCRA Learning Center

Students who are actively studying to become stenographic court reporters and testing at 180 wpm or higher are encouraged to apply. Full details on eligibility and an application can be found here. Completed applications will be entered into a drawing to take place after the March 15, 2024, deadline. Entries not drawn as winners will be included in future quarterly drawings.

Jill Parker Landsman serves as the Manager of the National Court Reporters Foundation. She can be reached at