The thirteenth Vusumzi Primary School classroom is dedicated to Brian J. Neprash, who was born in the Badlands of North Dakota. His parents' career with the National Park Service took Brian's family to 48 of the 50 United States, allowing him to form friendships with children who reflected the country's broad diversity. The Neprashes eventually settled in North Dakota, where Brian's grandmother was a respected grade school teacher. As a 40-year educator, Brian's grandmother shared her love of education with her grandson and underscored its unparalleled ability to expand one's understanding of the world. His family's hands-on life lessons served as a cornerstone of his career in facilities management and influenced his passion for remodeling, repurposing, and recycling.
After high school, Brian enlisted in the United States Navy and served for seven years as an air-traffic controller. In 1986, while enjoying an off-duty respite in Florence, Italy, Brian met his future wife Cindy, who was visiting her sister Martha (subsequent founder of Universal Promise) at the time. Brian and Cindy were married in 1987. As part of a bucket-list fulfillment, in 2014 Brian and Cindy traveled to South Africa to go on safari and to discover more about Universal Promise and its efforts at Vusumzi Primary School. While touring the classrooms and grounds, they learned that the school did not yet have a constant supply of clean water. Universal Promise, Brian, and Cindy all understood, of course, that a clean and unfettered water supply is essential to building and maintaining a strong mind and a healthy body in each student.
Brian and Cindy soon made clean water at Vusumzi Primary School their mission by creating vinyl flowers from recycled record albums and selling the one-of-a-kind flowers to hundreds of customers. In a handful of months, Brian, Cindy, and eager supporters raised the required funds to install a water collection, purification, and filtration system that serves the entire Vusumzi Primary School community. Universal Promise, in recognition of Brian's willingness to embrace the UP vision of a proper and holistic education for the children of Nomathamsanqa, is honored to recognize him for his contributions.
Honored by Universal Promise for his generosity on behalf of those we serve