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October 5, 2020

From Nigeria to Ghana: Immigration for Education

Elisha Joseph is willing to do whatever it takes — even move countries — to reach his educational goals

Elisha Tubo-Oreriba Joseph grew up in Port Harcourt, Nigeria, as the oldest of five children. He dreamed of becoming a lawyer someday, but he wasn’t sure how to make his dream a reality.

The beginning of Elisha’s PathwayConnect journey

Elisha Joseph

Elisha was called to serve a mission in Enugu, Nigeria, where he first heard about BYU-Pathway Worldwide from one of his companions. He realized he could go to law school if he completed his bachelor’s degree online through BYU-Pathway’s programs. “This insight made me shout for joy,” he said. After returning from his mission, Elisha learned that PathwayConnect would soon be available for the first time in Odorkor, Ghana — the nearest location to his home. He immediately enrolled.

Participating in PathwayConnect required many sacrifices for Elisha. Because virtual gatherings weren’t available at that time, he chose to relocate to pursue his education.* “I had to move from Nigeria to Ghana,” he said. “The exodus was not pleasant, as it unfolded lots of hard times economically.”

Gaining new skills and experience through volunteer work

In addition to his coursework, Elisha also spent eight hours a day volunteering. “When I started PathwayConnect, I knew I needed a job, and getting one was very difficult. With no certificate or skills to get a job, I decided to do volunteer work,” he explained.

Elisha volunteered as an assistant call center supervisor for the Perpetual Education Fund (PEF), training other call center employees and assisting PEF participants across West Africa over the phone. In exchange for his volunteer work, he was allowed to use an office computer to work on his school assignments.

All of Elisha’s sacrifices were made with faith and optimism. “The PathwayConnect program was something I desired … so I was super excited when it was time for me to start, and I clung on to it with all the energy of my being,” he said. “With faith in God, determination, and help from my dear friend [who introduced me to PathwayConnect], I survived my challenges.”

Volunteer by day, student by night

Elisha completed PathwayConnect in 2013 and chose to pursue a bachelor’s degree in applied management online through BYU-Idaho, supported by BYU-Pathway, which came with its own challenges.

Elisha after receiving his bachelor’s degree

“I spent all my online degree days continuing my volunteer work,” he said. “It was not easy combining 10, 12, and sometimes 15 credits with 8 hours of volunteer work per day, but because of my faith in God … I was able to make the sacrifice.”

Finding reliable internet access and electricity were also challenges for Elisha. “It was cheaper buying data at night, so I stayed awake at night to do my assignments and then prepared to go to work in the morning,” he said. “Sometimes in the process of doing my assignments, the power would go off.”

The rewards of hard work and sacrifice

Although Elisha certainly faced adversity, he never gave up. In fact, his faith was strengthened as he overcame his trials and continued working toward his degree. “I had faith that God would help me achieve my educational goals,” he said. “I put in my best, and God took care of the rest.”

“Of course, there were days I felt dispirited with my studies, but with the help of fellow course mates and friends, my spirit was energized to continue and persevere until I graduated, despite the challenges I encountered,” Elisha said.

Elisha graduated with his bachelor’s degree in July 2017 and got his first job in November of the same year. Elisha still dreams of becoming a lawyer eventually, but for right now, his goal is to earn a master’s degree in public administration. He is working on starting his own business using his experience and training to manage businesses across Africa.

When he’s not doing schoolwork, Elisha loves playing the piano, singing, and dancing. He also enjoys spending time with family, friends, and other Church members.

What sacrifices have you made for your education? Share below!

“I had faith that God would help me achieve my educational goals.”

*^ PathwayConnect is now available in several locations across Nigeria and Ghana, as well as virtually.

Comments on "From Nigeria to Ghana: Immigration for Education"

Umana Effiong says:

I really appreciate this write up as so many of us are at the cross road in determining if we should proceed because of the challenges we face in our course but this message have given us hope for tomorrow and reasons to stay strong and have faith in God.

Salu Hunkin-Finau says:

I love reading real stories of people’s lives. The messages resonate life’s trials and hopes in all people.

Emmanuel Essien says:

Brother Elisha was my friend while in the same mission. He is a courageous young man with full determination to succeed. Indeed PathwayConnect is a hope for a common man, am a student of this institution I had my experience also.

Maxwell says:

Wow it’s good that you still had faith even though things were not okay. I have learned something from the story : )

Anthony Matende says:

Brother Elisha’s experience is inspiring and is real support to many experiencing challenges and anticipating challenges as we go through the PathwayConnect program.

Charlotte says:

That is great! I am also enrolling and it’s not easy for me, but with faith in our Savior i can.

Modeste KABEYA KALONGA says:

This is a great example for our lives…Thank you brother Elisha.

Stephen Peregba says:

I happen to know Elisha — starting life from where he started and coming from a nice family in the same ward/living area. An uplifting one for me. I can attest to his effort. A mentor I aspire to be like.

Precious Murisa says:

That’s very encouraging, and Elisha and I know if we put God first in all that we do, we will achieve all our goals.

isata pessima says:

I first met Brother Elisha when he was serving as an assistant to our mission president in the Nigeria Enugu mission. He is a great man who is always working very hard to set a precedent for others to follow. Congratulations sir.

Mouzoun Blaise says:

Thanks for the encouraging words. I am also doing my degree online, and it’s not been easy. Your story has given me hope to persevere and continue.

Congratulations brother Elisha. These testimonies help us to keep up our pursuit of this education. I am encouraged by your story. May God help you to reach more heights in the name of Jesus Christ

Christopher Ibu says:

I happened to once work under Bro. Elisha. I attest to the fact that he is super dedicated to any course he embarks on.

Cecilia D says:

Congratulations on your achievements, Elisha! Your experience encourages me to keep doing my best in BYU-Pathway.

Ama Serwa Dsane-Laryea. says:

I know Bother Elisha from Ghana (we were in the same ward). Thank you for your testimony. Hard work pays off, and when we do our part, the Lord helps us to succeed. I know the Lord will help you to achieve your goals.

Jewel Kanta says:

I was so inspired when I read about your educational journey. I am a student, a mother, and working full time. Indeed, I can attest that it’s very difficult, but with the help of others and God, we can make things possible. I too want to graduate and get my first degree through BYU-Pathway and start my own business.

Owen Simbarashe Jakopo says:

I am truly inspired! Our Heavenly Father loves effort, and it will be rewarded with great blessings.

uche ikedi says:

Bro Elisha’s journey is so inspiring, and I have really been motivated since I read about it.

ROBINOSON OUMA says:

Congratulations, Brother Elisha. You are an amazing, inspiring person to all PathwayConnect students. I agree that we should do our best and God cares for the rest. Best wishes, even as you look upon greater heights.

DANIEL DAVID FRIDAY says:

Congratulations on your achievements, Elisha! I do really know Bro. Elisha and his family very well. He was my stake pianist, and he did work very hard to achieve his goal.

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