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A Pioneer in Ghana

In an area where many thought higher education wasn't possible, Batholomew beat the odds

Batholomew Hottor has worked for more than seven years and traveled halfway around the world pursuing his dreams, and it all started when he enrolled in BYU‑Pathway Worldwide in 2014. Batholomew, a native of Ghana who now lives in Canada, has seen the blessings of education all throughout his journey.

The beginning of a passion for education

Batholomew at Temple
Batholomew outside the Toronto Ontario Temple

Batholomew had just graduated from high school when he first met missionaries for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

He said, “I investigated the Church for almost three years before getting baptized. When I started to receive the Liahona , I found an interesting pattern where a lot of new leaders that were called had attended Brigham Young University. So I sat down with missionaries one time, and they told me, ‘BYU is a great school. You can also attend if you really work hard.’ So that became a source of motivation for me because my parents never had education.”

Batholomew had his sights set on attending BYU — he even made plans with his brother who had immigrated to the United States to arrange for Batholomew to join him. When his brother got engaged, money was tight, so Batholomew put his plans on hold. Shortly after making this decision, the first pair of service missionaries were assigned to BYU-Pathway Worldwide in his area. Even though it was slightly different than his original plan, he jumped at the opportunity to get a head start on his education at a Church university.

New opportunity, new challenges

As Batholomew pursued higher education, he experienced many challenges, including a lack of motivation and support and struggles with accessing fully online courses. He had to find creative solutions to the obstacles he faced.

“In Ghana, internet accessibility is very poor,” Batholomew said. “At one point I had to use three different internet services in order to work through my assignments.” He also saw a lack of trust in and enthusiasm about online education in his area, since it was new and uncommon.

However, Batholomew was a diligent student and a vocal advocate for BYU‑Pathway. As a pioneer student in his area, he began inviting everyone he could. Batholomew continues to excitedly share the many benefits of a Church education to all who will listen.

“At one point, I was the only member in my ward who was part of BYU‑Pathway,” Batholomew said. “When I started talking about my experience with BYU‑Pathway and BYU‑Idaho, some members started seeing what I was doing and became interested in enrolling. By the time I left, the numbers had just shot up in my ward.”

The making of a master’s

Through BYU‑Pathway, Batholomew gained the skills he needed to continue his educational journey. He ultimately completed a bachelor’s degree from BYU-Idaho in Business Management in 2018. In 2020, he graduated with a Master of Management Innovation and Entrepreneurship from Queen’s University in Ontario, Canada.

Batholomew in Graduation Attire
Batholomew graduating from Queen’s University

“BYU‑Pathway instilled in me confidence and also a purpose. So, for me, coming into BYU‑Pathway I had the opportunity to pursue the program that I wanted to do, and that really motivated me to work hard. It really prepared me very well for BYU‑Idaho and my transition from BYU‑Idaho to master’s degree.”

In his spare time, Batholomew loves to read anything about business. After completing PathwayConnect, he worked for a consulting, engineering, and project implementation company, where he made a big difference in Ghana. With the education and experience he gained afterward, he currently works as a project analyst for the Ontario Ministry of Infrastructure. He remains thankful to this day for BYU‑Pathway’s impact on his life.

“BYU‑Pathway has helped me a lot to build my faith in the Savior Jesus Christ and to trust in Him in every part of my journey,” Batholomew said. “One of the things that I really like about BYU‑Pathway is the opportunity to learn the gospel and apply it in your life. Some of the courses that I’ve taken have really helped me to understand the tender mercies of our Heavenly Father and how we can always rely on Him to achieve our purposes.”