A former Peace Corps member, Brian Fassett, ’12, had a great job as director of training and development at Advantis Credit Union in Portland. But Fassett was ready for a new adventure. He has taken a new position as operations director with a small start-up NGO, Bicycles Against Poverty. Their mission is to distribute bicycles to rural African communities to improve the standard of living. They distribute bikes on a lease-to-own basis that enables people in small villages, especially women, to expand their opportunities.
Fassett is a graduate of the PSU Postsecondary, Adult and Continuing Education (PACE) master’s degree program that develops adult educators to anticipate and respond to the changing developmental issues of diverse adult learners, organizations, and communities. He also holds a certificate in working with adult learners.
Many villages in Uganda do not have a clean water source. People, usually women and children, walk for hours to retrieve water, which significantly reduces time spent on other activities. A bicycle would enable them to access employment, visit relatives, or go to school. A bicycle saves lives when someone needs medical care that is a day’s journey on foot. In Uganda, everyday errands like going to market to buy or sell goods will take far less time on a bike. It is a simple, economical solution that is life-changing for those in remote villages.
“We are all excited for Brian and his family,” said Andy Job, his former instructor in the PACE program. “Knowing Brian, I’m not surprised that he would take on this challenge. Brian is a typical example of our PSU students who have the ability to make a huge difference in the world. We are very proud of him and wish him the best in this new adventure.”
Fassett has a master of science in educational leadership from PSU, with a certificate in working with adult learners. He and his wife, Kate, will move with their young daughters, Ruby and Clara, from West Linn to East Africa in June. The entire family is excited for this new opportunity.