By Hadas Kuznits

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A Northeast Philadelphia high school student today won a $1,000 scholarship in an unconventional competition.

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The National Court Reporters Association is encouraging an unusual skill, as local high school students hooked up their smartphones to computer screens to take part in a texting competition at Orleans Technical College.

The fastest texter takes home a scholarship to court reporting school.

“There’s a very strong correlation between people who are good at texting and the success that they have both in court reporting school and as a career,” noted event MC and moderator Ashleigh Melvin.

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Ryan Hettel, a 16-year-old student at Philadelphia Academy Charter High School (at right in photo), was the competition winner.  He was the quickest and most accurate at transcribing bits of movie quotes, commencement speeches, and other audio clips via text.

And he notes that the organizers didn’t make it easy:

“There are different accents and everything, with different people, and you’ve got to make sure that your grammar is right, capitalization, and everything.”


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