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The Education of a Lifetime

The Education of a Lifetime
I struggled with ADHD, but nobody asked me if I had been evaluated for the disorder until I reached high school. In high school when I couldn’t focus on my homework, my grades began to drop. I started feeling a lack of self-confidence about school that I had never felt before.
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The drop in my grades resulted in additional pressure to catch up, which meant I had to spend more time studying. To complicate matters further, my mother needed help with her business, so I had to spend my evenings working instead of studying. I began feeling hopeless as I watched my world spiral out of control. When I became too depressed to attend school, I started seeing a psychiatrist for my depression, not realizing that my depression resulted from my inability to focus.

My psychiatrist suggested that I take medication. Due to the effects of the drugs, I felt better, even though my problems were getting worse. Unfortunately, the medications made it even more difficult for me to focus.

The resulting chains of bondage extracted the remaining hope from my life until I attempted suicide. After I was discharged from the hospital (I was only 17 at the time), I moved away from home, and for almost two years I had no contact with my mother, my father, and my younger brother. I starting living in a shelter for homeless youth and began working to support myself and save for an education.

An Important Decision

An Important Decision
After the two hardest years of my life, I reconnected with my father, started treatment for ADHD, and later reconnected with my mom and brother. With a broken heart and a contrite spirit (see 3 Nephi 9:20), I finally decided to cry in prayer to God and ask if He existed. This was the single most important decision I ever made in my life. Three days later to my complete and utter astonishment, my prayer was answered in a sacred and personal way that changed my life forever.
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Realizing that I needed to learn more, I began a search for truth about this God who answered me. That led to more prayers, and I came to the logical deduction that there was only one true church upon the earth: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I was baptized in 2011.

I discovered feelings of peace and hope that I had never before experienced. Finally, I knew with certainty that God existed, and that God loved me personally and had a glorious plan for my future.

Enrolling in Pathway

Enrolling in Pathway

Sometime later, my bishop recommended that I enroll in the Pathway program, a low-cost education opportunity. I decided to take a leap of faith and join the program.

Pathway helped me become focused on success. I learned to integrate prayer into my secular study, and I began to see the Lord direct my studies. As I obtained the companionship of the Holy Ghost, I found myself learning more quickly, so I began praying more frequently and asking more difficult questions in my prayers. Those questions led to answers by revelation (see James 1:5). Consequently, the pieces of my broken life finally began to assemble.
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This education completely transformed my life. It gave me the study skills that helped me maximize the use of my time. Combined with the treatment I was obtaining for ADHD, this program accelerated my path toward success. I was ordained to the Melchizedek Priesthood and learned how to make decisions that helped me retain the Spirit. For example, I destroyed all of my worldly music and media and replaced them with media that invited the Holy Ghost. I was blessed to be able to baptize my father and later receive my temple endowment.

An Individualized Learning Experience

An Individualized Learning Experience

Thanks to the miracle of the atonement of Jesus Christ, I learned that God will individualize our learning experience. This led me to an exciting career in software engineering. As I learned to trust in God and His promises, I received faith-building experiences and an increased capacity to learn from others.

The gospel will lead us to more happiness in this life than anything else we can ever experience, and every decision I’ve made to apply the gospel has been among the greatest decisions of my life, yielding more hope than I ever thought possible.

How Pathway Works

How Pathway Works

In partnership with BYU–Idaho, Pathway is a one-year, low-cost educational program that offers online academic courses, religious education, and local face-to-face gatherings with other students.

The Pathway experience helps participants develop confidence, become self-reliant, build leadership experience, and gain employable skills while learning by the Spirit within the framework of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Two program versions are available: one for native English speakers and one for individuals with low English proficiency.

After Pathway, participants may pursue a variety of opportunities, including applying to the BYU–Idaho Online Degree Program, where they can work toward a professional certificate or degree—and continue to pay the low Pathway tuition rate.

Read more about Pathways here or visit pathway.lds.org to learn more. 

Read a story of how a Pathways student had a life-changing influence on his girlfriend because of his studies.