Profile

Jason Genao

“I come from a family who immigrated to the United States to give us a better future. Both my parents never completed any form of education, and it was their number one priority that my sister, brothers, and I did.”

For Coast Guard Reservist Jason Genao, serving others is his calling in life. The 29 year old from New York retired as an active duty Coast Guardsman in 2010 after enlisting in 2006. It was during those four years Genao discovered it is his purpose in life to serve others, and he continues to serve today as a member of the New York City Fire Department.

After being honorably discharged from the Coast Guard, Genao joined Coast Guard Station New York Reserves and learned many of his peers continued public service careers with the New York Police Department, FDNY, and more. But it was the story of Jeffery Palazzo, a FDNY firefighter and Coast Guard Reservist who lost his life trying to save others when he answered the call on September 11, 2001, that decided the civilian career he would pursue.

“He, alongside other members of the FDNY, helped save over 10,000 lives that day. After reading his story, and speaking to members who personally and professionally knew him, I was motivated to become a New York City Firefighter.”

Today, Jason is proud to call himself one of New York’s Bravest and is placed in one of the most reputable and busy firehouses in the city. His four years with the Coast Guard instilled the discipline, knowledge, and strength to be one of those chosen to serve his community every day.

“My itch to serve the public persists,” he said. “This is why I have enrolled in Mount Saint Mary’s College pursuing a nursing degree - this will allow me to help people in their most vulnerable moments.”

Since leaving active duty, juggling life as a student, firefighter, and member of the Coast Guard Reserves has meant completing his nursing degree has been a slow process, but he is more determined than ever to reach this goal however long it takes.

“I come from a family who immigrated to the United States to give us a better future. Both my parents never completed any form of education, and it was their number one priority that my sister, brothers, and I did.”

Jason, his wife Katie, and their one-year-old son Myles live in one of the most expensive counties in the country, and with his G.I. bill fully exhausted, every dollar put towards tuition is crucial. This support from the Coast Guard Foundation’s United Services Automobile Association (USAA) Reserve Scholarship is greatly appreciated.

“I would like to thank everyone who made this possible, and I hope to live up to their expectations - I'm forever grateful,” he said. “I will continue to look for ways to make a greater impact on society.”

Scholarships for Coast Guard members, their children, and their spouses give those who serve an opportunity to pursue their dreams of a higher education.

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