August 28, 2017
Tony Steele, from Bloomington, Illinois, found PathwayConnect as a way to not only grow professionally and improve his employment, but as a way to deepen his understanding of the gospel.
Throughout his year in the program, Tony found a change that landed a little closer to home: with his family.
Strengthening Their Family
Tony and his wife, Aidee, decided to enroll in PathwayConnect together. With three young children still at home, it would be a challenge, but through faith they found a way.
The Steeles originally wanted to hire a babysitter for their children every week while they attended their PathwayConnect gatherings. When they were not able to find someone to commit, their fellow gathering members rallied together to help with the children. Spouses and older children of classmates came to watch the Steele’s children every Thursday while Tony and Aidee attended their classes — making gatherings a weekly family event.
“The gatherings really lifted our spirits. We did not miss one, and I planned my other responsibilities around PathwayConnect so I could always attend,” Tony said. “I get 35 days of vacation a year and 28 of those days went toward attending the gatherings. I can honestly say I enjoyed those two hours each week as much as any vacation I have ever been on.”
PathwayConnect gave me the faith to try and never give up
Tony and Aidee have discovered a strength and happiness in their home that was not there before. The Steeles worked on homework as a family to set a positive example for their children. Because of this, their children started seeing the importance of hard work and education in their own lives.
Improving Broken Relationships
Through the strengthened family relationships at home, Tony found in himself a desire and opportunity to make other relationships stronger. “The most difficult lesson for me was improving family relationships — for that, I looked outside our little family at home,” Tony shared.
As he worked to apply what he learned in PathwayConnect to his everyday life, Tony gained the confidence needed to also strengthen the relationships with his two older children from his previous marriage, who had since moved out of the house.
“Sometimes you can feel like it’s better to leave things alone, but I decided to try to repair broken relationships. I know it will be difficult and maybe impossible to repair, but PathwayConnect gave me the faith to try and never give up.”
After Pathway Plans
Now that the Steeles are done with PathwayConnect, Tony is pursuing a certificate in computer information technologies (CIT). Once Tony has completed his certificate, Aidee will begin working toward an online bachelor’s degree in business management through BYU-Idaho to compliment her bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from University of Illinois.
What initially began as an opportunity to gain a better education and knowledge of the Church quickly became an opportunity renew their faith in Christ and strengthen their family relationships.
Through PathwayConnect, Tony has improved his family relationships. To find out how PathwayConnect can strengthen your family, visit pathway.lds.org.