Introduction

Today, seeing my name in the commencement program of the Winter 2024 Semester at BYU-Idaho fills my heart with many emotions. Accomplishing this goal seemed nearly impossible, but here I am telling you my experience.

Importance of English

Starting my journey was not easy, primarily because the university is located in the United States of America, and English is not my native language. I not only needed to learn English but also to meet all the language proficiency requirements. However, during this journey, I have witnessed the miracle of personal growth.

BYU-Pathway Worldwide

My first year was challenging because, to be accepted by the university, I had to participate in the BYU-Pathway Worldwide’s PathwayConnect Program. In those early years, this program required physical attendance, so I traveled from my city to Quito, Ecuador—about a 5-hour journey—to attend weekly meetings with other students to improve our language, university, and leadership skills. I found excellent friends who supported and encouraged me throughout this journey.

Accepted as a BYU-Idaho Online Student

After completing the Pathway Program, I was accepted as an Online Student in the Web Design and Development major program with a focus on Web Development. Each semester spent on assignments, projects, and team collaborations was demanding. Many days, I had to forego personal and family activities to stay focused on reaching my goal.

My Awards

This journey has been incredible. I earned certificates in “Web Media, Web Frontend Development, Web Backend Development, Web and Computer Programming,” leading to 2 Associate Degrees in “Web Design and Development” and “Applied Technology.” Each accomplishment brought me joy and satisfaction. I even felt motivated to register my Associate Degrees here in Ecuador with Senescyt, helping other people from my country in the process.

My Family

This journey has been particularly challenging because I am responsible for my wife and our two beautiful daughters. Many nights were spent working on assignments until 2 or 3 AM, sometimes while juggling a full-time job. I had to make sacrifices to dedicate whatever little time I had to my family.

Developing Skills

My knowledge and preparation have led me to become self-employed. Although it hasn’t been easy, I am proud to have developed professional skills outside the university. Instead of being discouraged by my lack of programming knowledge, I focused on improving each day. Currently, I am working on a system in Node.JS with Express.

Graduation

Even though I didn’t have the opportunity to attend the graduation ceremony on campus at Brigham Young University – Idaho, I am truly grateful to see my name there. This achievement is not just mine; it’s a family accomplishment. I want to set an example for my daughters.

byu-idaho experience graduation
https://brightspotcdn.byui.edu/9a/9e/b6241d36446aa0ace5f7b0fefa99/commencement-w24.pdf

Conclusion

From the beginning of my career, a lyric from an EFY song by Russ Dixon—”Impossible is not a word, it’s just a reason for someone not to try”—has been my favorite statement that has changed my life. Now, this journey is not over, but it holds immense significance in my personal and family life.