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January 20, 2017

Ye Shall Find Rest Unto Your Souls

Family and friends come together to help PathwayConnect students

Wake up. Get ready for the day. Get the kids ready. Make and clean up breakfast. Head off to work. Laundry, cooking, cleaning, and picking up kids. The work never ends. And on top of all of that — homework.

For many PathwayConnect students, the challenge of balancing life’s responsibilities is made possible in part through the support of loving friends and family. Some help with babysitting during gatherings or by helping more around the house. Others provide constant encouragement and motivation or even help with paying tuition. Throughout this time, sacrifices are made, long nights are endured, and burdens are shared.

Speaking to PathwayConnect students, it is obvious how they made it through these challenging times. It has been through the help of friends and family that PathwayConnect students have found the support they’ve needed to hold on and succeed despite all adversity.

Student Experiences

Michelle Branch

Michelle Branch has been able to follow her dreams of getting a higher education.

Michelle Branch has been able to follow her dreams of getting a higher education.

For other students, like Michelle Branch from Mesa, Arizona, families are a source of financial support. Michelle was adopted, and both of her adopted parents passed away before she completed college. The financial burden of pursuing a college education grew too great, and Michelle dropped out.

Last year, Michelle met her biological father’s parents, and they offered to help her reach her college aspirations. She prayed about PathwayConnect and felt inspired to join. Once enrolled in PathwayConnect, Michelle said, “For the first time, I had wonderful grades. I am planning on joining BYU-Idaho online and getting my degree in marriage and family studies. I can’t wait for the next step of my education to start!”

Thanks to her family, Michelle’s dreams are becoming a reality.

Linda Caldwell

Linda surrounded by the friends she now calls family that she met at her gatherings.

Linda surrounded by the friends she now calls family that she met at her gatherings

The need to provide for a family is often a leading motivation for students to join PathwayConnect. Linda Caldwell, from Queen Creek, Arizona, plans to use her PathwayConnect experience to support her family. While she has had to sacrifice many of the activities she loves to participate in PathwayConnect, as Linda said, “I’m very fortunate because my family has been supportive from the beginning.”

Linda hopes to find work that will provide her family more financial flexibility. She shared, “My PathwayConnect experience has prepared me for employment in a lot of ways. I’ve learned better time management, improved my typing skills, and have more self-confidence.”

Mary Anna Brown

Mary with her daughter and two sons, who support her decision to join Pathway.

Mary with her daughter and two sons, who support her decision to join PathwayConnect

Mary had missed out on the opportunity to gain a deeper education in her early life but saw the potential to change that through PathwayConnect.

She had doubts, but it was the support of her Church friends, family, and kids that helped Mary take the step to join PathwayConnect in Greeley, Colorado. “I never thought I would be able to say, ‘I AM A COLLEGE STUDENT!’ Those five words feel so good, and I feel blessed that I have the support of understanding family and friends.”

Yara Nishimura

Yara has found an uplifting support through gatherings that have led to her success in Pathway.

Yara has found uplifting support through gatherings that have led to her success in PathwayConnect.

Yara is from Goiânia, Brazil, and has found great joy in PathwayConnect. “I feel closer to my Heavenly Father, and I have felt the power of the atonement in my life, helping me to learn. I have received the blessings of God each week that I complete the program.”

But her favorite part of PathwayConnect was the support she received through attending the weekly gatherings. “The best part of PathwayConnect for me is the weekly gatherings, because everyone has the opportunity to teach one another. We meet good people with similar objectives. Amazing things happen when we learn by the power of Holy Ghost.”

Weekly Gatherings provide the support Yara needs to be uplifted and edified by her participation in PathwayConnect.

Cheryl Ann Noble

Back Row: Cheryl Noble, Kathy Adams, Farelyn Alvey Front Row: Juan Solares, Laura Rice, Dawnya Biggs, Scott Parkin

Cheryl made the decision to attend PathwayConnect with the help and example of a sister in her ward.

Cheryl of Burley, Idaho, is another student who found the support she needed through the weekly gatherings. Despite decades of a hectic personal life filled with work, marriage, kids, and everything that comes with those things, Cheryl found the opportunity to finish the schooling she had given up as a young woman thanks to the words of a sister in her ward. “The final decision was made after I spoke with a sister in our ward who had participated in PathwayConnect while working and homeschooling her family. With her encouragement and example, I knew I could do this.”

Ultimately, it was the weekly gatherings that helped her through the process. “I love the Thursday gathering meetings, which I thought were going to be the hardest part to work into my schedule. Getting to know others in my area that are on the same ‘path’ gives me a feeling of having a team of encouragement.”

Omar Coronel

Omar Coronel with his wife and two sons in Guayaquil, Ecuador.

Omar Coronel with his wife and two sons in Guayaquil, Ecuador

Omar always wanted to learn from one of the Lord’s universities and gain the secular and spiritual attributes that would allow him to be more like Jesus Christ. So naturally, he jumped at the chance to enroll as a PathwayConnect student in Guayaquil, Ecuador. However, being a PathwayConnect student hasn’t come without its challenges. “Now I am studying with PathwayConnect, and even though I have two young boys and no formal job, I am doing my best to fulfill what is required of me. I work hard so my boys can see my example of sacrifice and dedication — no matter what difficulties we face, we must achieve our goals.”

As he works hard to be an example for his children, they also support him and lift him in his struggles. “My children are a great support to me. They are always cheering me up, so I can keep working even if I am tired. And when I see their eyes, I feel strength, hope, and faith, because they have faith in me.”

Moving Forward

Students throughout the world have come to recognize the importance of the support of family and friends in their PathwayConnect success. Semester after semester, students and their support systems have accomplished something meaningful. The loving support of family and friends has made all the difference.

How have you received support throughout your time in PathwayConnect? Share your story by commenting below.

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