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Scholarship Recipient Proves History Repeats Itself

Rebecca Russo dreamed of being a teacher perhaps in an elementary school but as fate would have it she found that following in her mother’s footsteps would lead her to another exciting and rewarding career.  Rebecca is enrolled in the Realtime Reporting Program at Gadsden State Community College—the only college in Alabama to offer this opportunity and one of two nationally recognized Realtime Reporting Programs in the state.

During Rebecca’s internship, one of the requirements of her program, she had the unique opportunity of shadowing her mother, Janet Russo.  Janet has been a court reporter for 25 years and is currently the official court reporter for Judge Allen Millican in Etowah County.  She is extremely proud of her daughter who recently received a $1,000 scholarship from the National Court Reporters Foundation.  Rebecca was selected from the students enrolled in the court reporting program at Gadsden State as the representative eligible for this opportunity.  She is one of two students chosen from a nationwide competition.

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Realtime reporting students have the talent and option to focus their careers on closed-captioning or judicial opportunities.  Most of the students find themselves specializing in one area or the other. Rebecca admitted that she is drawn to the judicial aspect of court reporting.   Rebecca completed her internship during spring semester, which consisted of 60 hours of writing time, depositions, court hearings, council meetings, and other projects.  “The highlight of my internship was shadowing my mother during a capital murder case.  It is a huge responsibility to capture everything exactly as it is said and the intensity of this job makes it exciting,” Rebecca commented.  She credits her mother for being a wonderful role model and instilling a great work ethic in her.  “My mother has always been a good example for me to follow.”

Rebecca hopes to sign with a court reporting firm soon and looks forward to the many places her career will take her.  She will use her scholarship money for tuition at Gadsden State and to purchase the stenographic machine and software programs that will travel with her wherever she shares her talent.  She expressed appreciation for her instructors at Gadsden State and feels that having her mother for a mentor has given her an advantage of knowing what life will be like as she pursues this career.  Michelle Roberts, Gadsden State realtime reporting instructor, said, “Rebecca has been a wonderful student and we know she will be a great representative of our program wherever her talent takes her.”

Rebecca is currently working on her state certification which is required prior to employment and looks forward to completing other certifications including the Registered Court Reporter Certification. For more information about the Realtime Reporting Program contact Michelle Roberts at 256-549-8694 or



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