Over the course of more than four decades, Fay Sasser welcomed everyone who arrived at MAC, from her seat at the Front Desk, with quiet professionalism and a warm smile. Her reputation for consistent and personalized service is one of the stories that inspires the current member experience. It also continues to be associated with a generous MAC employee scholarship program that annually awards $5,000 for students to use in an academic year while pursuing degrees ranging from associate to graduate level.
The Fay Sasser MAC Employee Scholarship, an ongoing partnership between the Multnomah Athletic Foundation (MAF) and MAC, is open to part-time and full-time employees and their dependents. This year’s recipients are two thoughtful and ambitious individuals: a dancer on a path to a doctorate in physical therapy, and a personal trainer with a dream to prevent injury in young athletes. Learn more about their aspirations and the people who inspire them.
For Quintana Franklin, these scholarship funds mean that her dream of becoming a physical therapist can become a reality. She is currently studying kinesiology at Pacific University and has an eye on graduate school and a PhD in physical therapy. “I plan to specialize in dance as a physical therapist because I want to combine my work and my passion,” she explains. “The path to a doctorate is long, difficult, and expensive. With these funds, I can pursue my passion and, someday, I will be able to help others every day.”
Franklin learned of the scholarship through her mother, MAC Fitness team member Valarie Stegall. “MAF’s belief that athletics can help people reach their full potential resonated with me because dance has been such an influencer in my life and is something I’m incredibly passionate about. To me, dance is a part of me, not just something I do, and it has helped me to gain things like a good work ethic, determination, and resilience that have greatly helped me in my life, especially with applying to colleges.
“My former dance teacher, Margretta Hansen, inspires me because she teaches in a way that makes everyone feel welcome and comfortable in her classes. She is one of the main reasons why I dance like I do and why I think dance should be about enjoyment, passion, and emotion, not perfection.”
Josh Sargeant was a Sasser Scholarship Recipient at the beginning of his current educational journey and is now fully on the path to receive his Masters of Science in sports performance and strength and conditioning. Sargeant’s ultimate educational goal is to help prepare the next generation of coaches to identify why injuries happen and how to prevent them.
“A lot of people at the club know me as the trainer on the Trail Blazers’ stunt team, but I was forced to retire after I injured my hip irreparably catching a falling cheerleader in the playoffs last year. This injury made me leave behind the sport I love, but it also opened up a new passion, which is kinesiology research and providing the best coaching possible for my clients.
“These funds from MAF are letting me live out my new dream, and I really appreciate it. I’ve always wanted to go to grad school, but I had too much debt from my undergrad. I figured if I could get sponsored, I could go.”
His determination has been shaped by the relationships he’s formed, professionally and personally, while on staff at MAC. “I love all the wonderful people here. My clients give me an education every day. They have so much life experience to share!”
Looking forward, Sargeant hopes to continue training athletes while doing research at the PhD level in kinesiology. He grew up on farms, working hard physically, and saw his father go to work each day to a very physically demanding and damaging routine. “He didn’t enjoy his job, but he went out of love and a sense of duty to provide for his family. This inspired me to pursue a career of passion. To be able to go to the gym and make a good livable wage teaching people about physical fitness makes me feel truly blessed. Now, I’m finding fresh ways to help people pursue their own passions.”
Written by the MAF Communications Team.
Adapted from interviews originally published in the October 2020 and September 2021 Issue of The Winged M magazine.