July 19, 2017
“Without PathwayConnect, I would not have had the courage to get my degree,” said Aleisa Hardister.
As a new convert to the Church and the only member in her family, PathwayConnect helped Aleisa gain the motivation to pursue her education after completing the program. Since her conversion and the completion of PathwayConnect, Aleisa has completed a bachelor’s degree online through BYU-Idaho and obtained employment — but it wasn’t easy.
The Courage to Continue
During her time in PathwayConnect, Aleisa found the motivation to overcome her fear of public speaking. Being a lead student and teaching others inspired her to set the goal of getting a bachelor’s degree in business management. Aleisa credits her academic confidence to PathwayConnect for teaching her how to combine the gospel with her studies.
“As a new member of the Church, I was able to learn so much about the gospel while still learning academically,” Aleisa shared. “ I can see how much light PathwayConnect brought into my life. It made me an example to my family as a disciple and as a student.”
The desire to continue her gospel-based education and further her testimony led Aleisa to enroll in BYU-Idaho’s online program.
“PathwayConnect students can really do anything that they set their minds to,” Aleisa said. “After PathwayConnect, they shouldn’t stop learning; they should find the courage to try and get a certificate or degree.”
A Three-Year Journey
Being a full-time online student demands a lot of time, especially when completing a degree in less than four years while working two part-time jobs.
The key to Aleisa’s success was applying the principles of goal setting and time management she learned in PathwayConnect. Three years later, she received her bachelor’s degree in business management.
“If you really set your mind to something, you can obtain that,” Aleisa said. “It’s going to take work, and you will have some stressful nights, but it is totally worth it in the end.”
Aleisa didn’t stop there. Her hard work and dedication earned her a position as an operations manager in Washington, working in the field she graduated from. While it was hard to say goodbye to her family, Aleisa found the courage to leave her home in California and start her life in Washington.
Upon starting her new path, Aleisa met her future husband Ryan, and the two are planning to be married in the summer of 2018.
Walking Her Path
It took courage for Aleisa to enroll in PathwayConnect, step into the waters of baptism, earn her degree, work multiple jobs, and begin living on her own — but she knows it has shaped her into who she is today and prepared her to do everything she has accomplished.
“PathwayConnect is exactly what the name sounds like — a path to lead us to new beginnings, open doors, and a life full of opportunity,” Aleisa said. “Find the courage to keep walking your path — you never know where it may take you.”
Just like Aleisa, PathwayConnect can give you the courage to pursue your education. For more information about PathwayConnect, or to apply to the program today, visit byupathway.lds.org.