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Congratulations to 2023 COEF Scholarship recipient:
Ashley C. Barker, Las Vegas, NV


The Carolyn M. O’Connor Education Fund was established in 2013 to assist students hoping to enter the court reporting field.





Carolyn Morris O’Connor was extraordinary in every respect. After graduating from James Madison University, she attended court reporting school in San Diego, California, from 1985 to 1988. She moved back to Richmond, Virginia, and quickly became one of the most requested and respected reporters in the area due to her proficiency, work ethic, and personality. She attained every certification offered by the NCRA at the time, her RPR, RMR, and CRR. She was also a CCR through the Virginia Court Reporters Association and served as a director on the board. Carolyn was always generous with her time and knowledge, mentoring new reporters, encouraging her peers, and never missing an opportunity to introduce the profession to prospective students and help attorneys understand how to better protect their record. She, like many reporters, struggled with work/life balance, but whatever she was doing at the time, she gave it her all. She was a loving wife and mother of two, always found time for her host of friends, and even ran marathons. Carolyn was a bright light for everyone who was lucky enough to encounter her, whether It was personally or professionally. She was always an advocate for court reporting. Her self-deprecating humor managed to put everyone at ease, and she always made you feel valued. Carolyn lost her battle with melanoma in 2011 at the age of 47. Her untimely death was a blow to all those who knew her. The Carolyn O’Connor Education Fund was established to memorialize all the ways she contributed to the profession and to assist and encourage those entering it.


To help raise money for COEF, we hold a yearly silent auction.  This past year our auction was conducted online with great success, and so we will continue to do it virtually so even if you or a friend can’t be in person, you can still bid. We ask everyone if you hear of someone who has perhaps a vacation home to donate for a weekend or week, a painting, wine basket, blanket, you name it, we’ll take it, and we will send a tax letter for their contribution. They do not need to be a court reporter to contribute. It can be anyone!

How to Apply



Student Scholarship Opportunity

This scholarship is not restricted to Virginia students.


Any stenotype or voice writing students who are currently engaged in the study of court reporting, either in a traditional school setting or an online program, and who have completed at least one semester of schooling.

Applicants must have passed at least one of the court reporting program’s tests at a minimum of 160 words per minute.

An individual may apply for the scholarship each year, so long as they meet the requirements; however, an individual may only be awarded the Carolyn O’Connor Education Fund scholarship one time.


The deadline for receipt of the application in its entirety is JANUARY 30th of each respective year.


There are three different forms which must be completed.  All three must be received by the deadline of January 30th to be eligible.

  • Student Application Form.

  • Instructor/Member Nomination Form.  This form is to be completed by your instructor or a Professional VCRA Member and should be returned with the student application and essay forms.  However, the instructor/member may submit it on your behalf electronically or mail it to the COEF Committee c/o VCRF.

  • Student Applicant’s Essay Form.  You may also include any additional information about yourself, such as a resume or letters of recommendation.

Applicants will be judged on scholastic accomplishments, essay response, and possible personal/telephone interview by the COEF Committee.

AWARD:  The recipient(s) will receive a sum determined by the COEF Committee not to exceed a maximum of $2,000, free registration to attend the Virginia Court Reporters Association Annual Convention/Mario A. Rodriguez Education Day, where they will be recognized and receive their award, and a one-year complimentary membership to VCRA.

NOTIFICATION OF AWARD:  The recipient(s) will be notified by February 15th. The COEF Committee reserves the right to publish the recipient(s) essay in the newsletter and on social media, as well as the final decision regarding the award. At the Committee’s discretion, the award may not be granted.

The COEF application can be downloaded below.





If you would like to donate to the Carolyn O'Connor Education Fund in memory of a loved one or in honor of someone who is special to you, please make your check payable to VCRF, with "Carolyn O'Connor Education Fund" on the memo line, and send it to VCRF COEF Scholarship, 34 Fox Chase Ln., Palmyra, VA  22963 or click below to donate via credit card.

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