May 7, 2019
Taking the first step
Angelo Melone was serving in the Rome Stake Presidency, as the Young Men president of the East Rome Stake, and as the Director of Public Relations for his stake. While he certainly had enough on his plate already, revelation struck him while sitting in a presentation for BYU-Pathway Worldwide — he needed to enroll.
Though he was already very engaged in service and busy with numerous callings, the feeling was unmistakable. He felt prompted that he was to be an example for the people he served in his stake and show the importance of higher learning by continuing his own education.
“The announcement of the beginning of BYU-Pathway Worldwide in Rome illuminated my mind, and I saw a great opportunity for all the young people of the Church in Italy. I thought that I could show them by example that everyone could take this opportunity,” he said. So, acting in faith, he enrolled in PathwayConnect.
Hard work and long nights
For Angelo, earning an education wasn’t an easy path. He worked full-time as a customs officer and studied many hours at night — the only time he had available for his coursework. However, his job wasn’t the only factor that made studying difficult. “You can imagine the challenge,” he said. “The lack of fluency in the language required twice the study hours.”
Because of the extra work he put in, each assignment he completed was a true source of joy. “Each lesson and each course represented a real challenge for me, and I love challenges — especially the toughest ones,” he said.
Thankfully, he had the support of his wife, Elizabete, and his daughters throughout his journey. They uplifted and encouraged him as he tried to balance all of his responsibilities with family, numerous Church callings, his studies, and his job. Angelo also knew that he could turn to God for help during his challenges.
“I prayed for everything,” he said. “When a lesson was more difficult for me, I prayed to Heavenly Father that he would touch my mind with His finger, and … my mind lit up. It was a fantastic spiritual experience.”1
The progress Angelo experienced during PathwayConnect was astounding. He went from speaking almost no English to presenting professional projects with confidence. He could see that what he was learning was aiding him in other aspects of his life as well.
“The challenge was won”
When students seek the companionship of the Holy Ghost in their learning, anything is possible. Angelo discovered the power of learning by the spirit during PathwayConnect and in his daily life after completing the program.
“The things I learned during my study came visibly into my everyday life,” Angelo said. “It significantly improved [my] English, I found greater ease in dealing with complex situations in my career, and I noticed a change every day in [my] attitude, vision, daily commitment, and family relationships.”
After all of his time dedicated to learning English and excelling in his studies, Angelo went on to earn a BYU-Idaho online bachelor’s degree in business management, presented and coordinated through BYU-Pathway. “The challenge was won. The sleepless nights had produced their fruits.”
As of December 2019, a year has passed since Angelo completed his bachelor’s degree. He often reflects on his time and hard work in BYU-Pathway. “What a wonderful experience I had, and what great blessings were in store for me and my family!” he said.
Angelo has been awarded a declaration of equivalence for his bachelor’s degree from Italy’s Ministry of Education, University and Research; meaning his degree is fully valid in both Italy and Europe (as well as the United States). He looks forward to helping other students who want to follow a similar path.
Don’t let anything get in the way of achieving your dream of obtaining a degree! Learn more about how BYU-Pathway Worldwide can help you reach your educational goals.