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May 23, 2018

One Step Closer to a Doctorate Degree

PathwayConnect not only enhanced Raul’s English skills but also his testimony

For years Raul Hidalgo felt stuck. He had earned a law degree, but not using it in his work made him feel that he was in an educational and occupational rut. He felt unsure of the future. But learning English and obtaining a second bachelor’s degree through PathwayConnect made all the difference in Raul’s life.

Raul found the motivation to learn a new language

Raul working with his speaking partner.

In 2011, a PathwayConnect non-native English speaker pilot opened two hours from Raul’s home in Tecamachalco, Mexico. Learning English through PathwayConnect could be his answer to escape the rut he felt he was in. Raul traveled four hours each week to attend the nearest gathering in Puebla, knowing he was on a path to a better future.

Raul’s sacrifices proved to pay off as he continued in the program. His English improved, and he felt the Spirit guiding him through the missionaries and online instructors.

“Learning the language was the hardest in the beginning,” Raul recalled. But although learning English had its difficulties, Raul saw the helping hand of the Lord. His online instructors and speaking partners were patient and encouraging, motivating him to never give up.

“I believe that inspiration from the Holy Ghost and the guidance of good leaders played a central part in my English-learning and my overall PathwayConnect success.”

Raul met President Gilbert at a connections conference in Mexico City, Mexico.

PathwayConnect gave Raul the opportunity to continue his education

Raul and his family at the Mexico City Mexico Temple.

After completing PathwayConnect in 2012, Raul immediately set out to earn an associate degree online in general studies through BYU-Idaho. By 2016, Raul had not only earned an associate degree, but also two certificates in basic accounting and entrepreneurship and a bachelor’s degree in business management.

Raul saw the benefits of an education even before graduation. He was blessed professionally as he worked toward his degree.

“I received several promotions at my work. I have been promoted again and again,” Raul explained. “I know that the Lord has given me the resources to support my family and to pay my tuition as I have continued my education.”

Upon the completion of a second bachelor’s degree, Raul applied to and was accepted to a Doctor of Law program at the National Autonomous University of Mexico which often requires a master’s degree. While he did not have a master’s degree, Raul believes that earning a second degree through a United States institution made all of the difference.

A gospel-based education transformed his life

Raul credits PathwayConnect and BYU-Idaho for his educational and professional accomplishments. He continues to encourage others to enroll in PathwayConnect, so that they might see their lives transform as his did.

“I believe that inspiration from the Holy Ghost and the guidance of good leaders played a central part in my English-learning and my overall PathwayConnect success.”


PathwayConnect offers English learning opportunities. Start your English education today!

Are you interested in becoming a speaking partner mentor? Read 7 Reasons Why You Should be a Speaking Partner to learn more!

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