December 6, 2023

Second Generation Firefighter Earns Learning Partner Scholarship

Shawn Genung is a second-generation firefighter with the Janesville Fire Department in Wisconsin. He says growing up around the firehouse and watching his father, who was captain, influenced him greatly and solidified his calling to follow the same career path.

“It gave me the hunger to continue the tradition of becoming a firefighter. Once the fire helmet fit my head, I joined the Janesville Firefighters Explorers Post. I knew being a firefighter and paramedic was my calling,” said Genung.

Genung is the recipient of the Learning Partner scholarship at CSU. Shawn says this scholarship will allow him to continue his pursuit of a bachelor’s degree while still being able to serve his community.

“With the financial assistance of this scholarship, I would be able to obtain my degree in a timely manner and finish within the scheduled timeline. The benefits of my increased education would be used immediately and would also assist in my role in the lieutenants’ promotional process for my fire department,” said Genung.

“In this career, one can never receive too much training or education. When the public calls for an emergency, they expect the personnel arriving to be the best they are in their career. Receiving this scholarship will assist me in gaining an excellent education and training. This is what I owe the public, my coworkers and myself.”

Genung currently works as a driver engineer, paramedic, rescue scuba diver, fire investigator and recruit trainer. He is currently in the promotional process to begin his next role as lieutenant.

“Helping people in extreme times of need is what I have prepared myself to do. I try and take any opportunity available to gain knowledge, education, and skills to become a better firefighter, paramedic, and individual,” he said.

Always striving to be the best, and making his coworkers, community and father proud, Genung knows that at the heart of all of his goals is both knowledge and passion.

“Knowing the best leaders have received higher education has pushed me to further mine. As a lieutenant, I would have the responsibility of my entire crew,” he said. “This degree and scholarship would help provide the tools to better serve my community and crew and ensure they go home to their families after each shift.”