Pierce student wins prestigious state scholarship

The Washington State Emergency Management Association awarded Ronn Lauer the Joel Aggergaard Scholarship.

The Washington State Emergency Management Association (WSEMA) has awarded Pierce College student Ronn Lauer the Joel Aggergaard Scholarship of $2,500.

Lauer, 42, is currently working towards an associate’s degree in homeland security emergency management; he expects to finish this fall.

Lauer had been working as a firefighter and emergency medical services provider for 23 years when he was laid off in 2011 due to state budget cuts. With few agencies hiring and no opportunities, Lauer began taking classes at Pierce College to retrain for a new career.

At first, Lauer said he was unsure about returning to school after so long a gap.

“I have found that returning to school was not something to be concerned with,” he said. “The instructors have been great as far as working with someone who has not been enrolled in full-time classes for the past 23 years.”

When he’s not studying, Lauer volunteers part-time as a firefighter for the City of Eatonville. His wife, Monica, also volunteers with the fire department.

“My advice to other students, especially those that have been out of school for a few years, would be to relax and take advantage of any help that is offered,” he said. “Do not be afraid to ask for help from obviously younger students.”

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