Mentoring program leads to lifelong friendships and more

NCRA Member Whitney Berndt

By Whitney Berndt

Merriam-Webster defines a mentor as a trusted counselor or guide. At Lakeshore Technical College (LTC) in Cleveland, Wis., students are given many opportunities to get in touch with these selfless reporters.

The Wisconsin Court Reporters Association (WCRA) makes finding a mentor as a student a simple process. With just a quick email, a student can be set up with a local captioner or reporter. It is through this program that many students have been able to find life-long friends and confidantes.

Former LTC student Miranda Seitz was put it touch with WCRA Past President Sheri Piontek, RMR, CRR, CRC, through the association’s Mentorship Program. “Sheri literally got me out of school. I would not have stuck with this program if it weren’t for her,” said Seitz.

“Mentors support you mentally and emotionally and are the only ones who know and understand how strenuous and rigorous this program and job is, and they provide support from that knowledge that can’t be given from anywhere else,” she added.

A position unique to LTC is its Student Success Coach. Betty Vande Boom was hired when the school was awarded a Core Industry Grant through the State of Wisconsin. Boom has been a great asset to students at all speeds in the program. Many students praise the help that comes from her. Having an extra person to keep us accountable, understand the struggles, or teach us a new brief can make all the difference.

“The biggest benefit to me is that I have someone that I have to report my progress to and that has helped me push myself even further,” said current student Chad Hirsch.

I think many, if not all, students at my school can attest to the fact that Wisconsin is full of mentors willing and able to provide words of encouragement, great advice, and even some tough love when necessary. The reporters here want nothing but the best for us students and are an open book when it comes to anything we may ask.

NCRA Member Whitney Berndt is a student at Lakeshore Technical College in Cleveland, Wis.