September 13, 2021
All around the world, BYU-Pathway Worldwide students meet both virtually and in person for their PathwayConnect gatherings. Clark Gilbert, former president of BYU-Pathway and Commissioner of the Church Educational System, said, “It seems there is something about lifting and building others that is foundational to why we gather. One of the miracles of BYU-Pathway is in the gathering. Think about all of the learning opportunities tied to the gatherings.”1
No doubt about it, gatherings are key to student success! So what should you expect in your first gathering? Here are some things you can look forward to.
Getting to know your missionaries
There are thousands of service missionaries assigned to BYU-Pathway! Each has a unique story of how they got there, but they all have the same reason for wanting to stay: the students. Missionaries have the responsibility of facilitating weekly gatherings, supporting currently enrolled students, and encouraging others to join BYU-Pathway.
In your first gathering, you’ll get to know your service missionaries. They’ll lead the discussion the first time and set up a day for you to strengthen your leadership skills by leading the discussion another day! You’ll also get to know the other students in your gathering group and discuss how you discovered BYU-Pathway and what you’re hoping to achieve by furthering your education.
Connecting with your gathering group
It can be a little intimidating to meet new people, but you actually already have a lot in common with the other students in your gathering, like the area you’re from. They all have a unique path to BYU-Pathway, but they’re all there to improve their situation and become more self-reliant. In your courses, strive to help and connect with your classmates by asking questions about their hopes and goals for education. Don’t be afraid to share a little about yourself too!
Scott Duncan, a student from Arizona, USA, said of the PathwayConnect gathering, “It’s an opportunity and blessing to lift and to strengthen not only ourselves but also each other.”
Participating in the discussion
You have unique experiences and valuable insights to contribute to the gathering discussion! Each student will have an opportunity to be the lead student — facilitating the discussion and covering the weekly material. Whether you’re leading the class or just offering comments, be ready to learn something new.
If you have questions, now is a great time to ask! Other students are probably wondering the same things you are and you’ll learn together.
So much of your growth during your education will come from learning with others. Kameron Lemon, a now graduated BYU-Pathway student in Idaho, USA, said of her gathering experience, “You learn so much more when you have to teach other people. When we’d go and be together as a group and teach each other things we got out of the lessons, I felt fulfilled. I felt like I accomplished something because I helped them learn but I also learned a lot more myself.”
Have you attended a gathering before? Share your favorite part in the comments below!