October 5, 2020
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 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.
“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!