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November 28, 2016

Everything My Heart Desired

Carolina thought all hope of education was lost — until she found PathwayConnect

A young girl leaves her parents in Venezuela and travels 3,000 miles (4,800 km) in search of a new life. She moves to the United States without money, educational prospects, or a permanent home.

How does she secure financial security in a new country? How does a recent immigrant afford to attend college? How does she rise above her poor circumstances?

This is the story of Carolina Galvis, a young woman who discovered a way to fulfill her dreams in an unfamiliar place. Through the assistance of BYU-Pathway Worldwide, she went on to become the first university student and graduate in her family and pursue her ambition of helping fellow immigrants in need.

Trials and Tears

Carolina had a rough childhood. When she was young, she transitioned between vastly different countries, cultures, and families. She grew up facing constant uncertainty over what many people take for granted: having a home to call her own, being able to attend school, and living near family members.


“I am an immigrant from Venezuela,” Carolina said. “I came to the U.S. when I was 11. I haven’t lived with my parents since. I’ve been with other families and living by myself. I started working as a nanny part-time and rented rooms from people I really didn’t know.”

Carolina converted to the Church after immigrating to the United States.

Carolina joined the Church after immigrating to the United States.

Carolina tried to make the best of her situation, always working hard to succeed. But, like many others, she struggled to find a stable job. She was burdened by constant worry that she would never have a chance to change her life.

“I tried to enroll in schools, but financially it was impossible,” she recounted. From a young age, Carolina wanted to attend law school. She had a goal to help other immigrants transition to their new home, but without money to attend a university, this dream seemed unattainable.

Caught in a seemingly endless cycle of low wages and closed opportunities, Carolina gave up hope of improving her situation and abandoned her dream of earning a degree. Adding to this stress were her long hours as a full-time nanny, making her feel lonely, overworked, and forgotten.

“I thought I was never going to be able to get out of it. When you feel you are alone, and you think Heavenly Father has forgotten you, you just hit rock bottom,” shared Carolina. “Not moving forward with anything in my life was extremely frustrating. Everything that could have gone wrong happened. It was hard! I was emotionally exhausted and spiritually starving.”

Carolina did her best to press onward, but the full weight of her hopeless situation eventually got the best of her. Paralyzed by pain, financial burdens, loneliness, and the prospect of never attending university, Carolina decided she couldn’t go on.

“There was one day I got on my knees and told God, ‘I can’t do this anymore. Please stop. Help me, because I can’t do it. I cannot physically do this anymore.’”

A Pathway To Hope


During this dark time, Carolina received a blessing from her bishop. In the blessing, Carolina was promised that “everything [her] heart desired would come soon.” It wasn’t long after that Carolina found PathwayConnect.

PathwayConnect was my road to success. It’s that simple. BYU-Pathway helped me heal.

blessing“When I heard about BYU-Pathway, I was filled with joy and gratitude,” Carolina tearfully remembered. “It meant fulfilling my dreams and becoming the person I wanted to become. Sometimes you think you have already had all the chances in the world, and then you get this amazing blessing out of nowhere. So to me, BYU-Pathway was just the biggest gift I could have ever received. Before BYU-Pathway, I didn’t see anything in my future.”

For Carolina, PathwayConnect was a way to resolve the otherwise impossible challenges being a disadvantaged immigrant presented, so she enrolled in Hingham, Massachusetts.

As Carolina found success in her classes, she began to have hope again. She could see her vision of a successful future once again.

gathering“PathwayConnect was my road to success. It’s that simple. BYU-Pathway helped me heal. It is a testimony that the Lord is taking care of each of His children; He knows our needs and dreams, and He wants us to succeed. BYU-Pathway has given me a future by enabling me to further my education.”

After completing PathwayConnect in 2011, Carolina studied business management online through BYU-Idaho and received her bachelor’s degree in July 2015, presented and coordinated through BYU-Pathway. Carolina now plans to attend law school so she can become an immigration attorney to help others overcome the challenges she herself once faced.

Carolina earned a bachelor’s degree in business management in July 2015.

Carolina earned a bachelor’s degree in business management in July 2015.

Optimistic Future


Although she was an online student, Carolina attended her graduation ceremonies on BYU-Idaho’s campus.

“Completing college is something I’ve always looked forward to, and at one point in my life seemed impossible,” Carolina said. “But it is possible. I cannot say how grateful and blessed and loved I feel. This means I’m closer to my dream, to be able to serve people and be their advocate.”

As she moves into the future with renewed hope, Carolina will remain ever grateful to BYU-Pathway for helping her surmount her difficult challenges.

“I am a new person. I am so much happier. I feel I have a future. I am moving forward. I am a new me — a better me. I want this message to be loud and clear: BYU-Pathway is a huge blessing. BYU-Pathway means hope. BYU-Pathway means dreams do come true.”

Start your path to a better life with BYU-Pathway Worldwide, and join the thousands of students that have graduated with a degree from BYU-Idaho, presented and coordinated through BYU-Pathway. Begin with PathwayConnect, a one-year college readiness program, and work toward earning a certificate or degree online at an affordable price. Learn more and start your application today!

Comments on "Everything My Heart Desired"

Petiola Vaipulu says:

this story is very interesting and its encourage me to move forward and try to finish my pathway classes and continue to BYU-Idaho Online classes

Vanesa Malupo says:

Congratulations Carolina! What an inspiring story I can relate to. Thank you for sharing it and your beautiful testimony of prayer..

Puna Fatanitavake says:

Congratulations Carolina! Your story make me feel strong and encourage me to hold on to my faith in God that he will lead me to making my dreams came true. Your story is the same with me but I cannot wait to begin my pathway class this April so I will be able to work hard and give it all to have my degree so I can help my three amazing kid’s God bless me with to have a better life in the future.
I also will like to say God work in mystery way with him we can overcome everything so thank you so much for that loving story. Love you.

Dannielle Hext says:

Thanks for commenting! Good luck with your Pathway classes coming up.

The opportunity the Church is providing us is a blessing that cannot be measured. I’ve just registered for PathwayConnect and am really looking forward to it!

Agustina Flores says:

This is a very great story that confirms that there are no dreams too impossible to achieve if we take God’s hand first.

Leonardo A. says:

Well done, I’m glad I got to see those examples.

Paul Anaman says:

Thanks, this is a very great encouraging story. BYU-Pathway is a blessing to me too. I pray that as I finish PathwayConnect this semester I will be able to continue.

Myers Friday Duaryenneh says:

That was a touching and amazing story. I am grateful for you sharing your wonderful life story about achieving your educational goals. Your story is a strength and blessing to me through my degree program.

Thandeka Myende says:

That was so touching, you are so brave and strong, and you are still going far in life Carolina. What a beautiful testimony!!!

Onyinyechi says:

It so touching feeling your story of success, Carolina. Your story reminds me that I am never alone in this course, God is ever ready to work with our pure desire to lift and serve others around us. Thank you.

David says:

A very inspiring story. Faith in God indeed work miracles. It’s also a blessing to have priesthood brethren who can give us blessings to comfort us as we travel the difficult journeys of life.

Sarah Randall says:

Yay!!! Congratulations Carolina! Your story touched me. It can give so many great hope! I love how you tried so hard for so long, how you said such a simple honest prayer at the end of your rope and then you received such a specific answer from a loving Heavenly Father combined with your faith and hard work made your dreams come true! I just finished PathwayConnect and am onto the next step of my dreams now too:)

Dana Adams says:

I would love to know where Carolina is now? did she get a better job because of Pathway?

Gaurav singh says:

What an inspiring story! I’m impressed by your decision and the choice you made. I can tell that you are very strong women who has enough strength to do anything in this life. You are proof that with the help of God, everything is possible. Thank you so for sharing your inspiring story!

Brice Kouakou says:

What amazing story! I know that our Heavenly Father loves each of us. I invited my facebook friend to apply through this story.

Ema Faonelua says:

I love happy ending stories. It is so encouraging.

queen mary says:

I feel inspired and uplifted, our Heavenly Father fulfills our dreams. Let’s keep in faith and we will all make it.

Thank you so much for sharing your stories, I was touched and inspired by how you continued your education. I am also happy to be graduating this year April 2021 and I have also succeeded in my studies here at BYU-Pathway Worldwide. Thank you so much BYU-Pathway.

Richard Leo Sawera says:

I appreciate your lovely and uplifting story. Your story rings the likewise situation i am in and also it inspires me to follow this educational path last year 2020.

Angelica says:

I’m so happy for you, thanks for sharing your story 🙂 Our God is a God of miracles.


This is so inspiring and encouraging. Thank you PathwayConnect.

LaRee Peek says:

What a wonderful blessing for Caroline and thousands of others who could not see a way to get a better education.

micz saniel says:

Thank you for sharing your story. It is an inspiration to me to continue whatever happens and just trust in God. I hope I can fulfill my goals.

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