In the city of Lima, Peru with a population of over eight million people, lives 26-year-old Samuel Chavez, a BYU-Idaho Pathway student in his second semester.
Chavez, an image consultant to politicians in Peru and member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, one day walked into his congregation building and saw a poster advertising the Pathway program. Chavez said that after reading the poster, he thought to himself, “Wow, this is a big opportunity.”
In no time, he was signed for the Pathway program, and Chavez said that today he believes that it is one of the best opportunities of his life. Chavez said that he saw the benefits of studying online while still being able to continue his 9 a.m. – 7 p.m. job and be there for his family.
Chavez wants to study Webdesign and Development to improve his communication skills and use this powerful asset in his current profession in connecting the congressmen in government with everyone else in Peru.
Chavez is married to Celeste Chavez, and they have a 7 month year old son, Diogo Chavez. Chavez serves as the second counselor in the bishopric in his ward and he also serves as the direct assistant of public affairs, an area calling in South America.
Where does Chavez find the time to fit in his Pathway studies?
“I know that God will bless me,” Chavez said. “He is already blessing me. I don’t feel tired or stressed out, but I feel very happy, and I have the energy to do everything.”
Chavez said he strongly believes that he is blessed in his studies with a good memory to recall the information easily. Chavez has a schedule, but always puts family first when he comes home from work. After spending time with his family, he works on his homework from 10 p.m. until midnight. He said that he knows that this is a sacrifice, but that sacrifices bring blessings.
Chavez learned some English in school, but he was able to improve his English while serving a mission for the Church in Santiago, Chile where he worked with many missionaries from the United States; however, Chavez said at his first Pathway gathering that he felt a little bit embarrassed about his English and nervous about the program.
Chavez said that probably everybody in the gro felt the same way, but the friendly Pathway missionary cole instilled much confidence in each one of the students that they were able to find courage to move forward.
Chavez said that he feels that it is part of the Church to help one another, and he can see this principle of service applied in the Pathway program. There are many students with different levels of English, but those that speak better English help the others. Chavez knows that the Pathway students really care for each other. He said that one time he was late for a Pathway gathering due to his work. The other students started to call him to ask him where he was.
He said that his Pathway gro is like a family that looks out for each other and tries to help each other when someone is struggling.