February 17, 2020
Constanza Coronel had always been a great student. She learned English very quickly at a young age while growing up in Argentina, and continued to thrive in her schooling as a teenager. She always knew she wanted to earn a bachelor’s degree and was on the path to receiving one. However, due to economic circumstances, she was forced to put her education on hold at age 16.
During her break from schooling, Constanza met and married her husband, Nicolas. She tried to resume her education, but shortly afterward she gave birth to her son, who struggled with his health. “My son was very sick, so I had to stay home with him and quit my job. Because of that, we didn’t have money to afford the expenses for me to continue with school,” she said.
Shortly after that, Nicolas received a job offer in Córdoba, Argentina. Wanting to fully support her husband, Constanza left, but she began to feel stressed and sad without friends and family nearby. She got pregnant again with their second son and slipped into a depression. She said, “I felt like I had done everything our leadership asked us to do: get married and have a family. But I felt like something in my personal life was missing.”
Constanza still dreamed of receiving her bachelor’s degree and knew it would help her find the sense of personal accomplishment she was looking for. However, after looking at many universities in Córdoba, they were all either too expensive or too far away. Becoming a full-time student would also conflict with the full-time job she worked to help support her family.
What Constanza needed was an inexpensive, flexible option to be able to earn her degree. If she couldn’t find that, she wouldn’t be able to accomplish her goal of receiving higher education.
Constanza’s husband was serving as a counselor in the bishopric at the time and was assigned to go to a meeting one Sunday afternoon. Constanza said, “I told him, ‘Don’t ask me to go, I’m going to take a nap!’ But then he told me the meeting was about BYU-Pathway Worldwide and that he felt very strongly that I needed to become a part of it.”
Because of his enthusiasm, Constanza agreed to go even though she didn’t even know what BYU-Pathway was! However, she trusted her husband and attended. During the meeting, she learned about BYU-Pathway Worldwide and realized it was a way for her to earn her bachelor’s degree. But before getting too excited, she needed to know the cost.
“I found out PathwayConnect was only half the price of even just one month at the cheapest university I could find in Córdoba,” Constanza said. Recognizing it was an answer to her prayers, she immediately enrolled. Constanza thrived so much in PathwayConnect that she was asked to be a service missionary for BYU-Pathway after she completed the program.
Constanza is phenomenal at helping students with their questions and understanding their struggles and concerns. “A few weeks ago, we were on the fifth week of the semester of PathwayConnect. I remembered that it was very hard for me and that there were many new words to learn. It took me more than 24 hours a week to do my homework.” As a missionary, she uses experiences like these to help other students. Her patience and empathy has been a great blessing to many students.
In addition to her students, many others have been blessed by Constanza’s love for BYU-Pathway. “When you hear the gospel for the very first time, you want to share it with everyone!” she said. “That’s how I was about BYU-Pathway! I went around asking everyone, ‘Have you heard about BYU-Pathway? Have you heard about BYU-Pathway?’”
Constanza even convinced her husband to enroll in PathwayConnect when he decided to change his career, helping him obtain a new job with a higher salary.
Now, Constanza is still working toward her dream of earning a bachelor’s degree. She’s earned a certificate in business management and has almost earned her associate degree online through BYU-Idaho, presented and coordinated by BYU-Pathway. “I always prayed to have the chance to achieve this,” she said, “and my leaders told me if I got married and had children, all the other things would come in time. But I didn’t see that until this opportunity came to me. Now I see it’s true!”
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