If you know anything about Mormons, you should know we are not only strong believers of Christ, have a worldwide Church that is the only true Church on the face of our big blue and green earth, but Mormons are also highly educated with three renowned Universities, one college and dozens of many great programs one being, Pathway.
Pathway is partnership college program with BYU-Idaho that is a low a cost starter helping may of those individuals that have not had the opportunity to finish or start higher education. I am on of those individuals.
The program is divided into three semesters or one year in which students will learn life skills, religious courses, basic curriculums with weekly gatherings of institute classes for those who are 18-30 years old. The program is meant for students to gain the confidence they need to move forward with education and then onto higher education according to http://www.byui.edu/online/pathway
Once a student finishes Pathway they will have the confidence and skills needed to move on to BYU-Idaho if they student has kept a 3.0-grade point average (GPA) or B average. BYU-I then provides many career paths such as Business management, Web Design and Development, Marriage and Family Studies and RN nursing. There they will continue the same path or development and guess what, students will also continue to pay the same price per credit which is a pigmy amount of $65 dollars! This concept seems to be worldwide although the already low prices do minimize depending on the regional area.
The program is now in dozens of countries helping many achieve their dream of an education, especially a western one. The pilot program will continue to grow through continents helping members start or continue their education.
I was one which started the exciting career in culinary arts. I was half way done when my life took a sudden change. I realize that in my industry I could travel anywhere, cook, learn, get paid and no one would ask me for any degree. I traveled to New York and worked in the Hamptons as a Cook. There, I was still learning many new skills, but after much consideration, I ended up leaving. I’ll leave that for another story.
My second summer there I had started to come back to Church from a 5-6 year inactivity. Little by little I began to realize what I had done through the years. I learn the real meaning of Godly sorrow. I was not a bad human being at all, but both my faith and character were not up to par with Christ. Testimony building started to happen for me. I then had a desire to go on a mission which really threw me and my family for a loop, but since my bishop assigned me to be the ward mission leader, I knew that I wanted nothing else in life, even if that meant putting my career on a hold for two years.
Around this time, I began to really think of other career paths. I had chosen the Lord, my life, a future family after my mission. I could no longer spend 12- 14 hour days in a restaurant working 6-7 days a week at times. Just after a few years, I was burnt out and really thought the effort was not really worth the gain. After my mission however, I gave it another shot, I had a few things planned with the restaurant industry but none of them worked how I wanted them too. I gave it a real go before really making the real change. It just did not work. I was not happy with the day-to-day nonsense of the industry. Plus, who was I helping? After 4 years I made the difficult change. I love food and creating food, but I really dislike the industry’s live style.
More importantly, I knew deep down inside I did not want to sell alcohol, coffee or tea to anyone else and that was a major no-no for a full on professional kitchen (I had no desire to simply be selling food , I wanted guest to have a full on experience on a full-on restaurant, not a hole on the wall or a food truck) or for most places. Things like these can only be done in Utah or fast food places (which they still sell coffee and tea) and I love creating food too much to have anything that was not avant-garde. That’s not why I got in the business to begin with. So, My choices were to go back to school which is what I really wanted to do anyway.
But then something happened when I try going back to school, I found myself with ample amounts of loans that had been default and worst of all they were private loans which I don’t remember ever taking out. it has been a overwhelming battle because without those paid loans I cannot go back to school. Since then, I have pay some of it off, and one small loan which is helping me get closer to my goal. But with Pathway I can start now, be done paying by my the time I am done with Pathway and then further my education with BYU-I for a very low price. I could pay school out of pocket, no loans!
I actually wanted (and want) one job more than anything else in the world, regardless of what my wealth is or could be. I want to be a CES instructor. Ever heard President Hinkley, Packard or many other general authority say, ” the gospel is true, what else matters?” Well I gained a testimony of that in my mission. There is nothing else that does matters. Everything inside the sphere of the gospel is the most important thing on this earth period.
As a Missionary, there was nothing better than to teach a family with worldly problems and personal heartache and see them be transformed because of doctrine, because of the spirit’s teaching. The choices they made to change brought them conversion, but that was only driven by doctrine. We can’t be now, as a church or even humans, be fully engage if we do not know where the information came from. The truth is in the scriptures. Since then, it has been a dream of mine to be able to provide a living while doing something that is both temporally important as much as it will be eternally rewarding.
HOW I MET PATHWAY
I remember when I first hear about this Pathway Program in 2011 in the area of Denton Texas. My companion and I covered a small bike area in which two colleges roam the small town’s atmosphere. Many did not seemed too eager to jump on the opportunity. At one point I even witness one BYU graduate defending BYU credential as a legit school. Recently I saw a picture on the pathway website of some of the members in Denton who graduated from Pathway. To think that it went from a message on a pulpit to a live being changed forever.
I’m sure I’ll enjoy the program, why not? As Brigham Young put it when asked if we would ever stop learning. He said “never, never.” Education is an eternal principle, it brightens our mind, helps us become Eternal beings and self-reliant on this earth.
I invite you to visit pathway.lds.org and watch the short clips testimonials of the brothers and sister who have gone through the program. Like me, many others have the desire to finish and make something better of themselves. Is a commandment and we read it in both Matthew and 3 Nephi 12:47-48 “Therefore be ye perfect even as I or my father who is in heaven is perfect.”
“Therefore, I will go and do the things which the Lord has commanded, for I know that the Lord giveth no commandments unto the children of men, save he shall prepare a way for them that they may accomplish the thing which he commandeth them.” – 1 Nephi 3:7
I will finish my course, “come what may and love it.” (Elder Wirthlin) for my family, for the Church and for myself. Please see the program, be educated, get one, two, three degrees. I know for many who are financially well off, school is almost a paradox because, well you really don’t need a degree to “make it” in life but there is a difference between having wealth and knowledge, education and un-applied knowledge. If you want to be rich be rich, but also be educated because at the end of the day, you will not take your wealth with you to heaven, but you will take your knowledge. Then again why not both, just make sure that you seek first for the kingdom of God.
Pathway is just that, the WAY for a better future. I invite you again to think it over with your family. This may just be the answer to your prayers, whether financially in the future or for a career goal. Pathway is a wonderful program which has been spirit guide to help others develop and learn from the spirit. I invite YOU to seek for that spirit and listen to it’s guidance towards Pathway. I believe the Lord has made a way for us to keep his commandments, so I will go a do with what I can and I can do that with Pathway.