National Court Reporters Foundation Awards 2014 Grant and Scholarship
VIENNA, Va., May 12, 2014—The National Court Reporters Foundation (NCRF), the charitable arm of the National Court Reporters Association (NCRA), the country’s leading organization representing stenographic court reporters and captioners, has awarded the 2014 New Professional Reporter Grant of $2,000 to Shannon Bevin, a court reporter from Whitestone, N.Y., and the 2014 Frank Sarli Memorial Scholarship of $2,000 to Jessica D’Agostino, a court reporting student from Lake Worth, Fla.
“Each year the Foundation is honored to award this grant and this scholarship to a deserving new court reporter and a deserving student to help them launch their career and facilitate their education,” said B.J. Shorak, the Foundation’s deputy executive director. “These ever-important grants and scholarships are made possible by the generous donations the Foundation receives each year from NCRA members during annual fundraising activities. The donations received are a clear reflection of how committed NCRA members are to their profession.”
NCRF awards the annual New Professional Reporter Grant to a working reporter who has graduated within a year from an NCRA-certified court reporting program and meets specific criteria, including a grade point average of 3.5 or above, a letter of recommendation from his or her employer, and active work in any of the career paths of judicial (official/freelance), CART, or captioning. Bevin, a graduate of the Long Island Business Institute in Commack, N.Y., is the 10th recipient of NCRF’s New Professional Reporter Grant. She was nominated by Valerie Berg, owner of Admiral Reporting and Video Services in Bayside, N.Y.
Berg described Shannon as honest, straightforward, loyal, trustworthy, bright, and goal-oriented, and she noted that Shannon “has certainly been an asset to Admiral Reporting and Video Services.”
NCRF’s Frank Sarli Memorial Scholarship honors the late Frank Sarli, a court reporter who was committed to supporting students at the highest level of their learning curve. D’Agostino, a student at Atlantic Technical Center in Margate, Fla., is the 18th recipient of the scholarship. Recipients are chosen based on a number of criteria, including enrollment in an NCRA-certified court reporting program, passing at least one of the court reporting program’s Q&A tests at a minimum of 200 words per minute, having a grade point average of 3.5 or above, demonstrating the need for financial assistance, and possessing the qualities exemplified by a professional court reporter, including attitude, demeanor, dress, and motivation.
Sarli, who was studying to become a professional pianist, turned to a court reporting career when he could no longer afford the tuition to music school. During his career, he opened Frank Sarli’s Accurate Court Reporters in Orlando, Fla., Orange County’s first independent court reporting firm, and was a founding member of the Florida Shorthand Reporters Association. Sarli also served in numerous roles at the national level, including as a director for NCRA. He was also the first Floridian to earn the NCRA’s esteemed Distinguished Service Award.
NCRF supports the court reporting and captioning professions through philanthropic programs funded by annual charitable contribution activities, such a phone-a-thon, and the Angels Drive, which recognizes individuals or firms who commit to donate at least $1,000 to the Foundation in a 12-month time frame.
Among the initiatives the Foundation supports is the Legal Education Program, which facilitates the education of the legal profession about the role of the court reporter through a court reporter-led seminar, “Making the Record.” The program focuses on the value of stenographic reporting and technology. Under the Legal Education Program, NCRF has also partnered with NCRA at the biennial Court Technology Conferences, sponsored by the National Center for State Courts, to ensure court reporter technology is before key players in court administration.
NCRF’s Oral Histories Program (OHP) raises public awareness about the court reporting profession by focusing on capturing and transcribing poignant oral histories, including those of American wartime veterans through the Library of Congress’ Veterans History Project (VHP). NCRF coordinates with NCRA members to complete transcripts of the interviews. In addition to the Library of Congress, NCRF works with the National Equal Justice Library at Georgetown University, Washington, D.C., the Center for Public Policy & Social Research at the Central Connecticut State University, and the Illinois State Library. Through this program, almost 3,300 histories have been transcribed to date, and NCRF just started offering the stories of Holocaust survivors.
NCRF’s CART Services Program showcases the work of Communication Access Realtime Translators by providing grants to consumer organizations, such as the Association of Late-Deafened Adults. CART providers offer live-event captioning and personalized service for the deaf and hard of hearing.
As a charitable organization, the Foundation relies almost solely on tax-deductible donations. They are NCRF’s lifeblood, and could not exist without them. The majority of NCRF's support comes from NCRA members and associated businesses. NCRF offers various giving options, including dues check-off, phone-a-thon(s), an annual Angels Drive, and a vacation property auction. NCRF is also supported through individual estate planning by members of its Legacy Society. To donate, or for information on NCRF’s programs, visit www.ncra.org/ncrf, or contact Deputy Executive Director, B. J. Shorak, at NCRFoundation@ncra.org, or at 800-272-6272, ext. 126.
The National Court Reporters Association (NCRA) is internationally recognized for promoting excellence among those who capture and convert the spoken word to text for more than 100 years. NCRA is committed to supporting its more than 16,000 members in achieving the highest level of professional expertise with educational opportunities and industry-recognized court reporting, educator and videographer certification programs. NCRA impacts legislative issues and the global marketplace through its actively involved membership. Forbes has named court reporting as one of the best career options that do not require a traditional four-year degree and the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the court reporting field is expected to grow more than 5 percent in the coming years. For more information, visit www.NCRA.org.