TRANSform Our Association

Court reporting has transformed my life in ways that I could not have imagined.  When I moved to New York City in 2008, I was an aspiring Broadway star who needed to find a survival job, and fast.  There are, without question, many dreamers, budding entrepreneurs, other aspiring performers, athletes, or what have you, who would love to enter a field that could open doors to their dreams.  If only they knew about it.  If only they knew how to get through school.  If only they knew how to be successful in the field.  If only there were a place, a group of seasoned professionals, available to reach out to them, to guide them, to show them the ropes so they too could be successful.  I believe NYSCRA is such a place.  

Our association’s raison d'étre, reason for existing, can be found in the bylaws.  Article II, titled "Objectives,"states: 

This Association is organized for the purpose of maintaining standards of excellence in court reporting, promoting the general welfare of court reporters, fostering high professional standards, and promoting a spirit of mutual assistance between the profession of court reporting, the courts, and members of the bar.

We maintain standards of excellence through conventions, certifications, webinars, CEU workshops, and CAT trainings.  Student webinars are popular, and our mentorship program is growing.  Those things are important.  But we need to expand the reach of our association.  If we want stenographic reporting to continue to exist with strength and power, we must work together to get the word out.  The challenges we face are all over social media.  But challenges are just opportunities.  As the adage goes:  A smooth sea never made a skillful sailor.

Here are some ideas of ways you can help NYSCRA achieve our objectives.  If all 250-plus members committed to visit one high school throughout the state in 2020, imagine how many young people would become aware of court reporting as a viable potential career.  I ask each of you to commit to one of the following actions this year:

COMMUNITY OUTREACH

  • Give a realtime demonstration at a high school career day
  • Teach an NCRA A to Z program

HELPING FELLOW MEMBERS

  • Start a court reporting or captioning blog
  • Get a group of colleagues together for an old-fashioned practice session (take turns dictating to each other)
  • Record a five-minute timed dictation and submit it to our members-only dictation library
  • Post some interesting medical or technical terms you’ve heard on a job recently
  • Write an article for our newsletter, The Transcript
  • Post a dictation or CAT tip video on YouTube
  • Write a review of an excellent scopist or proofreader you have worked with
  • Encourage reporters to become better writers each day

STRENGTHEN OUR ASSOCIATION

  • Formulate a webinar for freelancers or court employees on grammar review
  • Organize an online Written Knowledge Test study session by video conference
  • Volunteer to be on a NYSCRA committee
  • Contribute constructively to Facebook or other social media groups
  • Attend one of our conventions or social events  

HELP OUR STUDENTS

  • Mentor a student
  • Sponsor a student to attend a convention
  • Donate to the Horizon Scholarship Fund
  • Speak to a court reporting class at a school
  • Teach at a court reporting school
  • Start an opt-in email list and send useful information or encouragement

Please help us to transform court reporting in New York.  Be the voice that empowers somebody in need of direction, a new career, financial footing, or purpose.  You have worked hard to be where you are, and you could share that wealth of knowledge and experience.  Let’s pay it forward to help others transform themselves.  And in doing so, we may just transform our association and our industry.

Joshua B. Edwards, NYACR, NYRCR, RDR, CRR
President, New York State Court Reporters Association