At 15 years old, Noah Lauser-Jones graduated from high school. Just last year, he earned an associate degree in liberal arts at age 17. Now 18 years old, Noah recently graduated with a bachelor’s degree in fire administration.
“My passion for the fire field started around the age of 13,” he said. “I had family who were firefighters and really showed me all of the fantastic things about being a firefighter. After hearing several stories from my uncle about being a firefighter, I knew that this is a career that I would thrive in. I always wanted to do a job that would be of public service and help others, and firefighting is exactly that.”
With this in mind, Noah saw his opportunity to get a head start to his dream career. After talking to family members about what he could do to become a firefighter, Covid hit and Noah could not go back to public school, but the opportunity to graduate early arose.
“After graduating high school at 15, I did not want to take a gap year or wait, I wanted to continue in college to help me get a head start on the career I wished to pursue. Graduating both high school and college at such a young age was definitely a frightening experience, thinking that I would miss all that high school had to offer. Although, looking back, I did experience almost everything I wanted to while I was graduating and never looked back since! I would not be where I am now if I never took that step.”
While knowing exactly what career he wanted to pursue put him ahead of the game, going to college at such a young age came with its challenges.
“I definitely felt pressure as a young student in college,” he said. “At some times in my class, I could tell that I did not have half of the experience of some of my peers. I could tell that some of my peers looked down at me because of my age. The pressure to keep up with them sometimes sunk in at those times. Although even with that, that did not stop me from being diligent and continuing working my hardest.”
After completing his associate degree, Noah began his bachelor’s degree at CSU where, in one year, he was able to complete all 10 courses in five terms, taking two classes per term.
“After one semester of CSU, I felt right at home and comfortable to continue my education there,” he said. “When I graduated, I felt a huge relief and it did not sink in till after a week of knowing I graduated. That big sigh of, “I did it.” Finally, it sank in, and I was happy.”
As if completing his degree in a year wasn’t tough enough, Noah also worked two jobs and took courses at another school simultaneously to transfer over credits.
“I was working two jobs, one at Chick-fil-A which allowed me to get a 15% discount on my CSU tuition fees, and also as a lifeguard,” he said. “I was also busy with fire explorers, martial arts and regular family/social life. But even with a full plate, if you commit to the program, CSU, their staff and their professors made going to school attainable.”
Noah is also known as being named one of the youngest to complete the fire apprentice program. To complete the fire apprentice program, one is given the opportunity to work on the floor with firefighters along with getting training done to become one day a fully employed firefighter.
“I have learned a lot with being able to experience 911 calls, along with the training that is done by Vacaville Fire. This is one of the best opportunities I’ve had, and I am able to learn a lot along with practicing my skills.”
In the fall of this year, Noah plans to continue his education with CSU and pursue his master’s degree. His dream job is to one day become a fire paramedic and along the way inspire others to pursue your dreams regardless of their age.
“My advice would be to keep going no matter what the obstacles are,” he said. “Don’t look at the work in front of you, look at the goal you set yourself and go past it. There are going to be a lot of times where you want to quit or to take a break, but knowing what you are going for will make it all worth it.”
*CSU degree does not guarantee entry into this or any profession.