Joshua “Caleb” Barnes is the youngest employee at the Clark County Fire Marshal’s Office in Ridgefield, Washington. He has big dreams for his career and knows the importance of education, but due to financial restraints, has only been able to complete three courses since 2016.
“As my finances stand right now, I’ll be able to afford one class per year, so that puts me at finishing my degree in about 10 years or so.”
Since the Clark County Fire Marshal’s Office is a CSU Learning Partner, Barnes applied for the Learning Partner scholarship—and got it. The scholarship, which covers up to $13,500 in one online degree program, will allow him to earn his degree in approximately two years, rather than ten. He will soon begin courses to earn his bachelor’s degree in fire administration.
Barnes, a deputy fire marshal, has many five-year goals, ones that this degree will help him accomplish.
“My primary goals for the next five years include earning a promotion to senior deputy, becoming certified with the International Association of Arson Investigators (IAAI) as a fire investigator, and qualifying as an expert witness [in order to testify in court as an expert in the field],” says Barnes. “Earning a college degree supports me in achieving these goals. The process of earning a degree will grow the depth of knowledge in my career field, which will enable me to better serve the Clark County community.”
Barnes says his humble roots and life experiences always pointed him the direction of public service, shaping his “work ethic, knowledge, self-discipline and motivation.”
“I grew up on a ranch in Texas where my father was the ranch foreman,” he says. “I spent my summers working for the ranch. I learned a work ethic there to prepare me for any degree.”
As he provides for his family and works toward his career goals, Barnes is on the path to success. With the Learning Partner scholarship, his path will be a lot smoother.