Todd Olivas Perfect Steno Scholarship

I have created a $1500 student scholarship through South Coast College and their Perfect Steno program that I'm hopeful will help court reporting students jet out of school! Applicants need to get set up with the Perfect Practice Program:

But first, I have to explain my background passion for this type of steno learning... Back when I was in court reporting school, I learned an important life lesson. You have to have a firm foundation in order to build something upon. What do I mean by that?

Click the image to download the Scholarship Flyer

In court reporting in order to learn the steno machine you have to learn what all the keys mean and how to combine them to form sounds. (Steno is all about how words sound and not how they are spelled.) In court reporting school that's called theory. It takes about six weeks to learn Theory 1 and then another six weeks for Theory 2. If you miss even one day of those 12 weeks, it's quite possible you might miss out on an important sound that will trip you up later on.

So it's extremely important to build a steno career on a firm foundation... a firm theory. Well, in my case I was never one to let school get in the way of distraction. I was going to court reporting school, yes. But also publishing screenplays, newspaper articles, joining a band, starting businesses, programming websites, etc. So I can honestly say that my steno foundation was not without its cracks.

And it showed.

Here's how I knew. Once you start trying to go fast -- because remember, the CSR exam here in California is 200 WPM -- that's when the cracks in your foundation will be felt. Your fingers may want to go quickly, but your accuracy will be in the dumps since, again, the foundation is not there. In my case, sure I had speed but my accuracy was not there. And so I failed the state test twice. Ughhhh!

But thankfully, after two unsuccessful attempts at the state test, Jean Gonzalez, president of South Coast College invented something called Directed Practice. It was a back-to-basics boot camp kind of thing that did nothing but dictate very, very slowly for a very long time in order to fill in the gaps in the foundation.

Due to Directed Practice and Jean's dedication to reading so slowly, my third try at the CSR exam went well and I passed!

Fast forward to now. Jean has created yet another innovative program to boost court reporting students out of school. This time it's called Perfect STENO. I truly believe that THIS is the way to get out of court reporting school efficiently and pass the test quickly -- perhaps even on the first try.

I believe in this program (and Jean) a ton and so on behalf of my role as a board member of the Deposition Reporter Association and as an agency owner, I decided to help out the cause a bit by creating a $1,500.00 Todd Olivas Perfect STENO Scholarship that will be disbursed as follows:

One (1) First Prize Winner: $750.00
One (1) First Runner-Up Winner: $500.00
One (1) Second Runner-Up Winner: $250.00
Ten (10) Worthy Participants: Perfect STENO T-shirt

Winners will be announced: September 15, 2020

So, enroll at and here are the rules:

Good luck, students!
Monday, August 10, 2020

Todd Olivas

Todd Olivas is a court reporter and entrepreneur.
He founded TO&A in 2003.

  Comment by Erin | Wednesday, August 12, 2020
I am a court reporting student and I would like to participate in the scholarship.

  Comment by Yammel Morales | Wednesday, August 12, 2020
I am a court reporting student at Downey Adult. I am currently writing at 180-200. Due to the pandemic I am currently not working and if I were to receive one of the scholarships it will be very helpful.

Thank you,
Yammel Morales

  Comment by Julie Anne Sorensen | Thursday, August 13, 2020
Hello: I am excited about the scholarship; however, I don`t see what we are suppose to do? Please advise in detail. Thank you so much!!! Very best, Julie Anne Sorensen
  Comment by Kim | Thursday, August 13, 2020
I love your story. How can I apply for the scholarship?
  Comment by Avelina Rodriguez | Friday, August 14, 2020
Hi, great story! I love steno, I love going to school! I currently attend south coast college and would like to k ow how to apply
  Comment by Todd Olivas | Friday, August 14, 2020
Hi, Everybody. Applicants need to get set up with the Perfect Practice Program: I`ll be posting more guidelines soon (hopefully later today.)
  Comment by Ashley Baba | Friday, August 14, 2020
This is very exciting! I`ve started practicing on this program! It`s true! It`s giving me the foundation & the confidence I know I`m going to need. Thanks for offering us this opportunity Todd:)

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