September 20, 2023

Firefighter receives Learning Partner Scholarship

Ryan Van BuskirkRyan Van Buskirk of the Eastham Fire Department in Eastham, Mass., was recently awarded a Learning Partner Scholarship from CSU.

The scholarship is awarded to employees/members of companies or organizations that partner with CSU. An essay contest is conducted to determine the winner of the scholarship which covers tuition for up to 24 months for one specific online degree program with CSU. Buskirk’s entry reflects his intense drive, never-say-quit attitude and willingness to aid others.

The Barnstable County (Mass.) Fire and Rescue Training Academy partners with CSU and its employees enjoy eligibility for a 10 percent discount on tuition and exclusive scholarship opportunities. Buskirk earned his fire instructor certification with the academy.

Buskirk plans to use the Learning Partner Scholarship to pursue a bachelor’s degree in fire administration. This CSU degree is recognized by the Fire and Emergency Services Higher Education which was created by the U. S. Fire Administration’s National Fire Academy.

He has worked hard to achieve a childhood dream of becoming a fulltime firefighter/paramedic.

“Instead of remaining stagnant in my career, I have pushed myself to continue forward and present myself with challenges that not only could improve my own life, but that of others. Despite the present difficult economic times, I have worked persistently to further myself in my career through education, as well as other community activities,” he said. “When we in public service choose our careers, often it is due to an inner desire to help others. In my life, I have worked to expand this mission of helping others in many different aspects.”

This applies to his fellow first-responders, too. After a relative was forced to resign from the police department because of alcoholism, Buskirk took action to reach out to others.

“Realizing this was not an isolated event in our line of work, my [relative] contacted me to help bring light to this growing problem in public safety. In late 2010, we started the non-profit corporation “True Blue Flu” to provide a peer support system for firefighters and police officers with the effects of critical incident stress. We have helped numerous ones in public safety get the help they need before the problems create devastating consequences,” he explained.

To learn more about the Learning Partner Scholarship, please call 888-785-3006 or send an email to