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From Family History to Family Future

Brett began BYU-Pathway to learn about family history but stayed to build his career

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When Brett Lasay from the Philippines first enrolled in BYU-Pathway Worldwide , he only expected to take a few courses to learn more about family history research while he continued working. But the skills he gained turned his interest into new opportunities to grow, succeed in his career, and provide for his family.

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Brett came to BYU-Pathway to help his ancestors.

A flexible option

Brett learned about BYU-Pathway well before he began his degree but was hesitant to enroll, not knowing if it would be applicable to his situation.

At the time, Brett was attending a local university in the Philippines studying entrepreneurship, where he balanced his schoolwork with a full-time job. But when Brett’s work hours increased, he no longer had the time to attend classes on campus.

“That became a huge problem,” he said. “I was not able to go to school anymore, and that’s where BYU-Pathway became an option.”

From an interest to a career

When Brett decided to enroll, he had recently become interested in family history after discovering that his ancestors had been buried in communal graves without identification markers. “I thought to myself, no, this is not going to happen anymore. I want to take care of my ancestors, and I want to learn more about them,” said Brett. “So I enrolled in the program and was able to find names in Family Search.”

Brett’s interest grew as he gained more skills in paleography, evidence analysis, and report writing. The family history research certificate from BYU-Idaho, supported by BYU-Pathway, gave Brett the practical skills he needed to be hired as a freelance and professional forensic genealogist — a service that was hard to come by in the Philippines at the time.

“In my first year of BYU-Pathway, I started taking on clients,” he said. “Eventually, the clients poured in, and I was able to get out of my regular job because being a professional forensic genealogist actually paid more. My salary tripled even before I received my first family history research certificate.”

A family-focused education

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Brett’s job as a genealogist helped him better provide for his family.

Brett not only learned about his family in the past but was able to spend more time with his family now. The flexible, online structure of BYU-Pathway’s degrees gave him more time at home and the tools he needed to be the best husband and father he could be. He’s also been grateful to set an example of the importance of education for his children and future generations.

He said, “BYU-Pathway is a blessing to me and my family — past, present and future.”

Now, Brett Lasay's passion for family history research has led him to a new opportunity: presenting at the 2024 RootsTech worldwide conference. Register for free to watch his session online!

BYU-Pathway provides access to two online certificates and an associate degree in family history research from BYU-Idaho.