Nigel Hidie has dark brown eyes that see the world differently than most. He has a deeper perspective on life by being able to see the good people do around him because of certain events in his life.
Born in Zambia, Hidie, a sophomore studying industrial organizational psychology, moved to Florida when he was 13 years old. He and his family joined The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints when he was 14, and he had plans to play college football at Florida State University.
Unfortunately, tearing his ACL, MCL and meniscus put an end to that dream. He served a mission and then came to BYU-Idaho. He said coming to school here has changed his life.
“It feels like it’s a hunger for knowledge,” Hidie said. “I love that about this place.”
He said he loves how he can communicate with his teachers, how he can work alongside his peers and he loves the Spirit of Ricks.
Hidie said he began to realize what a blessing it was to attend this school. During his freshman year, an idea began to form as he thought about the cost of school.
“A BYU-I degree is worth more than 100 grand,” Hidie said. “But we can get out of here paying 16 grand, and it’s not just because it’s how much it’s worth, but it’s simply because it’s paid for by someone, and we just don’t even know who it is.”
According to the BYU-I Financial Policies page, this reduction in tuition comes from members of the Church who pay tithing, part of which is used to lower the price of tuition for students who are members of the Church. Hidie’s appreciation for those members fueled his idea to give back.
“Families all across the world have helped me pay for my education,” Hidie said. “I was thinking, maybe it would be great to show some appreciation by creating a video that I hope could go viral so that the members could see.”
This video would feature two college students, one, a “stereotypical” blond-haired, blue-eyed Mormon from Utah and the other someone most people would not expect to be Mormon.
They would tell their stories, why they are thankful for an education and what they plan to do with their education. In between telling their stories, there would be clips of students saying “thank you” to those tithe-payers.
Hidie said this video has a threefold purpose.
The first is to allow members to know how much college students at BYU-I appreciate what they do and sacrifice.
“Their tithing money helps bless us,” Hidie said.
The second purpose is for college students to recognize that their education at BYU-I should cost a lot more, but because of faithful tithe payers, it costs much less.
“Rosinda, in Mexico, an old lady, whose grandkids will never have the opportunity for this education that I’m getting here, is helping me pay for my college tuition,” Hidie said.
He discussed how students may never meet these people but they can still know how much the students care.
The third purpose of this video, Hidie said, is to help students be more sincere.
“We need to try harder,” he said. “We kind of owe it to society to make the most of this opportunity and pay it forward hereafter.”
Hidie is working with friends now to get this video recorded and posted by the beginning of winter semester.
He said he recognizes God helped him to create this idea and is helping him along this entire journey.
“I’m thankful for that little inspiration,” Hidie said.