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October 8, 2019

Dreams Coming True in Peru

Through dedication, Gloria reached her goal of a university degree, and now she's giving back

Moving forward, making plans, and receiving what God has in store

As a top student in her high school in Lima, Peru, and with a goal to get a university degree, Gloria met with a guidance counselor. Based on her interests and abilities, her guidance counselor encouraged her to study business management, communication, or to become a monk!

Gloria, her younger brother Alonso, and their mom

After that, Gloria knew she wanted to get her degree in business management at one of the renowned universities in Peru. With the support of her family, including her parents and brother Alonso, her dream was within reach. “It was going to be a big effort for my family to help me get this degree,” she said. “We did it, and I got a scholarship!” 

Before beginning her university studies, Gloria had the opportunity to do a six-month internship with Proctor and Gamble in Panama. As she worked, she realized she wanted to get her business management degree in English. Following her experience in Panama, Gloria visited the United States, where she felt prompted to serve a full-time mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. With great faith, Gloria acted immediately to fill out her papers and was called to serve in Trujillo, Peru, a city about nine hours north of her home in Lima.

One choice and one opportunity can change a life

After returning from her mission, Gloria continued to pursue her goals of higher education. To her despair, the university she had previously been accepted to revoked her scholarship because of her time away for her internship and mission. Without the scholarship, it was extremely expensive for Gloria to attend the university. 

Gloria Cornelio

Gloria worked very hard, but she couldn’t take all of the courses she wanted with the limited money she had. She recalls, “I remembered [my mission president] said there was a pilot program [for PathwayConnect] beginning and that we were going to be able to get a bachelor’s degree online, so I went to the website and … applied.”

In 2011, BYU-Pathway Worldwide launched its first international PathwayConnect site in Lima, Peru. Even though she technically missed the application deadline, this didn’t stop Gloria. She tried again and ended up being accepted. “Don’t give up,” she said. “For me, that was my barrier. But I tried again…. So just don’t give up. You can do it!”

Sacrifice and steady progress brings success

When Gloria started PathwayConnect, there wasn’t a gathering location nearby. She traveled almost three hours — alone — to her gatherings.

Gloria’s graduation in 2017

Each trip required her to take two buses and a moto-taxi each way. But her motivation allowed her to keep going, especially when the journey was hard.

Gloria loves PathwayConnect for how it helped her grow. “It’s a blessing for everybody in the world,” she said. “It allowed me to be a better person and disciple of Jesus Christ. I wanted to be a good disciple of Jesus Christ, and I wanted to serve in a better way. So I thought business management would help me develop the skills I needed to achieve that.”

Gloria has always loved managing, planning, creating, and designing projects, and she especially loves working with and talking with people.

After PathwayConnect and her BYU-Idaho online degree program, presented and coordinated by BYU-Pathway Worldwide, Gloria graduated in April 2017, earning a bachelor’s degree in business management and a minor in communications. She was the first international student to earn a BYU-Idaho bachelor’s degree through BYU-Pathway.

Referring to her journey with BYU-Pathway, Gloria emphasized the importance of staying organized and choosing classes that you’re really interested in. She also said, “Everything you are getting through the program, you need to return in some way, serving other people.”

Finding joy in service and sharing, Gloria is giving back

Gloria’s example inspired her younger brother, Alonso, to participate in PathwayConnect, and her parents have started learning English!

Now 29 years old, Gloria uses her degree working for the Church, overseeing the welfare and self-reliance programs for Venezuela, Peru, Colombia, Bolivia, and Ecuador. She also serves as a service missionary assigned to BYU-Pathway Worldwide in Peru with a group of nine students. 

She said, “BYU-Pathway students should look for the opportunity to be service missionaries now and help others join, learn more about the program, and become more self-reliant.”

Gloria with BYU-Pathway President Clark G. Gilbert and Ismar Vallecillos, the area manager over Peru

As a service missionary, Gloria expressed the joy she finds in seeing her students improve each week when she said, “I am very amazed and happy and excited to see how they improve… They can communicate with each other in English and their pronunciation is better each day. I am very happy to see their progress, and I can see that they are going to be the future leaders of the Church here too…. When I see them, I can see that our Heavenly Father is happy.”



How are you using what you’ve learned in BYU-Pathway? In what ways can you give back? Comment below!



Comments on "Dreams Coming True in Peru"

Joshua Samuel okposin says:

Thanks so much, Gloria! This talk has really inspired me and helped me decide to work hard towards my success.

Walter Wisdom says:

Pathway Connect will help me grow because It’s a blessing for everybody in the world who come across it; It help me become a better person and disciple of Jesus Christ. I want to be a good disciple of Jesus Christ, and I want to serve in a better way because Everything I will get through this program, I need to return in some way, by serving other people.

Gloria Cornelio says:

Thanks everybody for your messages!
I am really thankful to our Heavenly Father for all the trials, new experiences, and new knowledge that BYU-Pathway has given me. Everything has been through and thanks to HIM.

Beverly Wardle says:

Thank you, Gloria, for your example of faith in Jesus Christ, your hope, and determination. Your story certainly has given me a boost and incentive to keep traveling in my own educational journey!

Wende Graved says:

Your name is so appropriate! Thank you for you persistence and example. Thank you for serving others with so much enthusiasm.
W.J. Graves

I feel connected with the effort she has made to get her bachelor’s degree. I’m still studying, and God has blessed my path.
God will bless all who receive His guidance and are willing to show sacrifice. Great job, Gloria!

Ygor Andreff says:

Guao!!! She is a role model to follow!!! She is inspiring me.

Jorge Eduardo says:

Congratulations Gloria!

I appreciate your experience! I can find the answer of my prayer through your personal experience, Gloria! Thank you Rebecca Workman for sharing this wonderful experience of Gloria. You are a good example for me and I want to get a Bachelor’s degree too.

ezenwa says:

This is a wonderful experience.

Sheryl says:

Her experience is so inspiring. I am so thankful for the chance to be able to read her story because it is helping me to be positive that I can also graduate from PathwayConnect and that I can better serve my Heavenly Father and my brothers and sisters. After enrolling in BYU-Pathway and for the past 5 weeks now, I am always sharing to other people that BYU-Pathway is a very inspired program of the Church and that our Heavenly Father loves us so much and knows the needs of His children. I wanted to finish and gain more knowledge so I can be an instrument in lifting the lives of other people.

Lauren Conrad says:

That’s a wonderful goal, Sheryl! You are an important instrument for Heavenly Father through your willingness to serve others.

Victor Coutino says:

Congratulations, Gloria. Your story is a great story of diligence and commitment. It inspired me to continue my journey in BYU-Pathway.

Ruben says:

Congratulations Gloria!!! You are a good example for me. Today we had completed our gathering Week 4. It was amazing. A big hug for you. Ruben from Bs.As

Owerei Believe Erhunmwunse says:

I sincerely know that if I continue studying hard and pray for the direction of the Holy Ghost in the PathwayConnect program, I will achieve my set goal, just like Gloria did. Thanks for sharing this important information with me. This will go a long way to strengthen my faith and make me focused in achieving success in my educational pursuit.

jacob ssekitoleko says:

I hope each and every of us on this pathway embrace Gloria’s character and work hard towards our righteous desires.

Umakiso Ebong says:

This experience of Gloria is so touching to me. With faith and trust in the Lord Jesus Christ, and because I have a growth mindset, I know I can make it to my destination.

Eser says:

I’ve known Gloria since we were young, and I know the efforts and sacrifices she has made to grow as she does. She is definitely a great example of someone who has dedication and perseverance to achieve a goal. I can say that I have felt inspired to keep studying and get the higher education that I know I can. Thanks Gloria.

Gus says:

Congratulations Gloria! You are an inspiration for all us that started in Pathway… Dreams come true.

Ekoh says:

I love her courage and determination. I will be finishing up the PathwayConnect program by December. Since I began in the PathwayConnect program, I have learned how to set meaningful goals, use proper budgeting and planning, and follow through with my budget. It has helped me a lot. As of now, I can give back by guiding students through their enrollment in the BYU-Pathway program.

ricky says:

nice experience it has strengthen me so much and me the desire to do more and work hard on lessons and with the guidance of the holy ghost i can do

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