Johnson used the skills he learned from his business and leadership skills certificate to do what he loved: increase access to education
Johnson Gbedze, from Ghana, went from being a volunteer teacher to a director of operations in less than five years. His success was as quick as it was hard-won. Johnson worked to gain a certificate in business and leadership skills through BYU-Pathway Worldwide while he worked on his degree. This certificate allowed him to earn important promotions even before he graduated.
Some of Johnson’s friends who were initially reluctant to join BYU-Pathway saw his success and came to him for help, asking if it was too late for them to participate. Johnson was reminded of the parable of the laborers. He told them, “It's good. Maybe you are someone who is supposed to work in the ninth hour or the twelfth hour. Come and benefit from the goodness of BYU-Pathway. It’s never a race.”
Johnson realized that receiving the blessings of BYU-Pathway is more important than the “when” or the “how.” Everyone can benefit equally from a spiritually based education.
Johnson had dreamed of attending a Church school since he was baptized. After serving a full-time mission for the Church, he began foundational PathwayConnect courses while also volunteering to teach high school students who met in his ward building. This started his experience with both education and leadership.
As Johnson continued his BYU-Pathway journey, he quickly earned his business and leadership skills certificate, which became critical for his success. He was often nominated by his classmates to be a leader for school projects, and his experiences leading discussions, assignments, and study sessions helped him grow.
He said, “My experience has opened me up to be able to talk to anyone. I felt so privileged to be a group leader and having people ask me for ideas.”
Not only did Johnson get real-life experience in leadership but he also learned why it was important to have a spiritually-based education. “You can’t learn secular facts alone,” he said. “You need a spiritual backing to survive in the world.”
Johnson’s education through BYU-Pathway was a dream come true for him: “That was where I belonged. BYU-Pathway enhances you and brings you to the real world.”
Developing new skills
While completing his certificate, Johnson was hired by Community Development Network (CDN) to teach rural communities how to use CDN hotspots, or devices that give access to educational content without an expensive internet connection. Johnson was able to use the skills he learned from his certificate to do what he loved: increase access to education.
Afterward, Johnson quickly became a leader in the company, growing from a trainer to a director of operations. Now Johnson travels across West Africa meeting with government ministers and local chiefs. Education continues to drive Johnson as he invites his friends and family to join BYU-Pathway while he works to help more people access affordable education.
It's never too late
Johnson wants to give hope to all students — whether they’ve been “laboring” for a degree for a few months or for years. “BYU-Pathway is a path to somewhere greater than we could ever imagine,” he said.
Regardless of how late we may think it is, the true Master of the Vineyard, Jesus Christ, is ready to help us work and grow. It is never too late to “benefit from the goodness of BYU-Pathway.”