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Personal and Professional Renovation

Kevin’s construction certificate gave him the skills to renovate his career

Following President Russell M. Nelson’s call to renovate our lives by removing, “with the Savior’s help, the old debris in our lives,” 1
Russell M. Nelson, “Welcome Message,” Liahona, May 2021, 6.
Kevin Rigtrup embarked on a journey of renewal. BYU-Pathway Worldwide and his construction field supervision certificate* gave him the tools to remodel his career. He was empowered to change the direction he was headed and become the person he’s always wanted to be.

Personal renovation

Kevin’s committed to making his dream a reality no matter what.

For over 15 years, Kevin worked as a truck driver, content with his job but aware that his true passion lay in becoming a construction project manager. He needed more education to realize his dream, but multiple attempts to return to school never lasted.

“I didn't have the tools to succeed,” he explained. Years later, a social media post inspired him. “When I learned about a lady who graduated [through BYU-Pathway] at 60 years old, I thought, with everything I’ve been through, if she can do it, then I can do it too. That day I decided to go back to school.”

By joining BYU-Pathway, Kevin gained the tools he needed, but it wasn’t easy. He’d just gone through a divorce, recovered from an addiction, and been laid off due to the COVID pandemic. “I started recovery. I thought, ‘How do I get out of this?’ Well, sometimes movement happens when hard things come.”

This determination came from his grit and faith in himself: “Everything is against me, but yet I’m determined this ain't going to put me down.” After about a year into his degree, Kevin earned his construction field supervision certificate.*

Propelled into a new career

Being an example to his kids is an essential motivation for Kevin.

Kevin’s certificate began to open doors in the construction industry. For nine months he worked for a construction company, gaining invaluable skills as he prepared to graduate. “There’s no doubt that [my certificate] helped me be hired. It taught me the skills that got me where I’m at right now.”

His construction supervision certificate trained him with industry-standard programs like Excel and Bluebeam. This expertise laid the foundation for his new job. He additionally earned an occupational safety and health certificate,* which fundamentally changed the way he saw construction safety. His job experience coupled with his certificates provided a critical first step into an entirely new field.

Kevin continues to embody personal “renovation” and is reaping the rewards for his determination. When he was working for the construction company, he explained, “BYU-Pathway has blessed me in so many ways. From driving for hours on end, I now have an office. From always being on the road, I now have time to be with my family, all because of BYU-Pathway.”

With graduation approaching in about two semesters, Kevin is ready for the future. Thanks to his stellar GPA and experience, a university has already reached out to him about joining their master’s program when he graduates.

Don't stop and never give up

President Nelson invites us to renovate our lives.

Renovation is possible for everyone at any stage of their journey. Speaking of the personal renovation gifted to us by the Savior’s Atonement, President Nelson teaches, the Savior’s “gospel provides an invitation to keep changing, growing, and becoming more pure. It is a gospel of hope, of healing, and of progress.”

To those who are unsure about going back to school, Kevin wants them to know, “Don’t stop and don’t give up if this is what you want. Do it to the best of your abilities and just know that there is an end.”

Contributors: Jacob Orse and Eli Dial

*Certificate names and their availability in current online degree programs are subject to change. To see what certificates and degrees BYU-Pathway currently offers, visit the degree list .