Blog entry by Natalie Kijurna (Administration)
Welcome to National Court Reporting & Captioning Week 2018!
College of Court Reporting (CCR) loves to share alumni stories because we are so proud of their accomplishments. We all know completing court reporting school is not an easy journey, but our alumni not only succeed in that endeavor but move on to attain awesome positions in the profession.
This month’s Graduate Spotlight focuses on Summer Vaughan. However, before we get into the interview, a couple of CCR instructors wanted to say a few things about Summer:
Summer Vaughan was a diligent student, turning in homework on time, always working on making her steno writing better, being present in all live I-classes, just an all-round great student. These are all indicators of how she conducts herself as a working reporter, and the world of reporting is the better for having her in it. – Lois Schoenbeck
It was an absolute pleasure to work with Summer. She never let her resolve to finish the program falter. Summer always had her work done on time and it was always done with great effort. I am not surprised at all that she obtained her certification as soon as she did; she is completely dedicated to her success. – Eileen Beltz
Well done, Summer!
Place you hang your hat?
I live in Mt. Vernon, Indiana
Arguably one of the best days of your life (aka graduation date)?
I graduated September 28, 2017.
I’ve been freelancing for Connor Reporting since I graduated, but I was just recently hired into the Illinois Second Judicial Circuit. I’ll be starting my new position on February 16th.
Official Court Reporter
I have my RPR and Illinois CSR.
I won the NCRF’s 2017 Student Internship Scholarship.
How did you get interested in court reporting?
I’ve dreamed of becoming a court reporter ever since I was fresh out of high school. Court has always fascinated me, and I’ve always excelled in typing and English courses. It seemed like a perfect fit for me.
Why did you choose CCR?
My local court reporter got me in touch with a CCR student (Erika Darnold) that was getting ready to graduate. I was able to ask her a ton of questions, and she had only positive things to say about CCR. After talking to Erika, I was signed up and starting at CCR within a couple of weeks. It was definitely the best decision I could have made!
Best tip for a brand new court reporting student?
Start telling yourself from the very beginning, “No matter how hard it gets, I am going to make it.” School is hard but it is completely worth it. There will be times when you feel burnt out. That’s when you have to find your grit and push yourself even harder.
Best advice you got while in court reporting school?
“Trust the process.” I had times that I felt completely defeated and felt like I was somehow regressing despite spending hours upon hours on my writer. Eileen and Lois always told me to “trust the process” because that was when I was about to push through to the next speed. They were always right too.
I believe that CCR gives you all the tools that you need to be successful. If you are using the tools you’re given, and not trying to find a shortcut to avoid putting in the hard work, you will succeed.
What do you ALWAYS make sure to pack in your CR bag when doing a job?
***Alright, enough about court reporting! Let’s have some FUN!***
I love all things Justin Timberlake and Miranda Lambert.
Any guilty pleasures?
I have too many to name! Mountain Dew and Caramellos are at the top of my list.
What would be the title of your autobiography?
Still I Rise.
What superpower would you most like to have?
That’s a tough question, but I think mind reading would be my choice.
I love The Hunger Games series.
Least favorite food?
My dad made me try pickled beets once as a child. I don’t think anything is as repulsive as those are.
Who is someone you admire and why?
I have to choose both of my parents for this.
When I started CR school, my son was seven and my daughter was one. I don’t think any of us really realized what I was getting myself into at first, but they never hesitated to step up to help me with my kids in order for me to get my practice in, to get my homework done, or just to catch up on housework. They helped me any time I needed it, without me ever having to ask, and they never complained about it a single time.
We jokingly call my dad our nanny. Since he is retired, he would come and stay with us a couple nights a week to help with the kids so I was able to focus on school. As I got further along in school and the speeds became harder to pass, he started staying with us four nights a week. I know that this was a huge sacrifice for both of my parents. My mom spent a lot of evenings alone at home, which I know wasn’t easy for her, while my dad spent a lot of evenings being a human jungle gym.
I admire my parents for always been willing to sacrifice whatever was necessary in order to help my brother and I reach our goals. It’s because of their hard work, sacrifices, love, and support that we are both able to be successful and have careers that we both love.
If you could witness any event of the past, present, or future, what would it be and why?
Honestly, I’m just trying to see Justin Timberlake in concert one more time before he retires.
Favorite childhood toy?
I don’t have any toy that stands out to me. I grew up in the country and spent most of my days outside exploring the woods, barns, and creeks. I had the best childhood!
Thank you for answering my questions, Summer! You’ve joined a wonderful profession, and CCR wishes you many years of joy!
CCR: The online education you want. The quality you deserve.