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Fourth Time's the Charm

After four attempts and trials along the way, including cancer and a devastating injury, Sandra Jarvis finally completed PathwayConnect

Many students find as they apply for PathwayConnect that obstacles can get in the way.

Sandra Jarvis from Mesa, Arizona, was one of those students. She had always wanted to finish her education, but because of university costs and other commitments in her life, it just hadn’t been possible until she learned about PathwayConnect.

But even enrolling in PathwayConnect had its difficulties. Sandra applied for the program four different times before she was finally able to enroll. “They say the third time’s the charm, right?” laughed Sandra. “But not in my case. Try the fourth time.”

Try, Try Again

Sandra and her Husband
Sandra and her husband have been brought closer together through their trials.

Sandra first heard about PathwayConnect from a friend in 2011 and thought it was an answer to her prayers to one day finish her education. After attending a PathwayConnect open house, she excitedly signed up to begin the program in 2012. Unfortunately, this excitement was short-lived. Right before the new term began, Sandra was diagnosed with cancer, forcing her to postpone her enrollment to instead undergo treatment.

Despite the challenges she faced, Sandra was determined to reach her academic goals. In the fall of 2013, she signed up for PathwayConnect again. However, when the time came for classes to begin, there was a “major upheaval” in her family. “I didn’t feel like it was the right time to focus on school,” Sandra said. Again, her education was put on the back burner.

In 2014, Sandra enrolled in PathwayConnect for the third time, but because of a vehicle accident that crushed her arm and nearly severed her hand, she was forced to postpone PathwayConnect once again.

The Road to Recovery

Because of the severity of her injury, she felt as if she had lost the ability to care for herself and her family. She was forced to resign from her job and was released from all Church callings.

“That accident changed my life forever,” Sandra said. “The cancer was difficult, and the treatments were hard, but at least I had been able to take care of myself and function somewhat normally.”

Unable to use her dominant hand, Sandra had to learn how to do everything with her other hand. Writing, eating, brushing her hair and teeth, putting on makeup, and other basic, daily tasks became difficult obstacles for her.

Arm in Cast After Surgery
Sandra’s arm after one of the many surgeries she has undergone since the crash in May 2014

To date, Sandra has undergone 12 surgeries and multiple other procedures to save her hand and arm. She said that in many ways, her arm injury has been the most difficult thing she’s endured. But it has also brought some of the greatest blessings of her life, including PathwayConnect.

The Long-awaited Moment

After much persistence, Sandra finally began her PathwayConnect journey in January 2015, after applying to the program for the fourth and final time.

Over the course of her time in PathwayConnect, Sandra underwent four surgeries on her hand and arm.

“It wasn’t easy going to school while healing from surgery and dealing with the effects of pain medication,” Sandra said. “But my teachers were wonderful in working with me to make sure I was still able to succeed in my classes.”

Despite the trials Sandra has endured in the years since first applying for PathwayConnect, she says the program has been very fulfilling for her.

“I didn’t have a lot of confidence in myself going into this program, but I have excelled in all of my classes. I’m proud of this accomplishment,” Sandra said.

Sandra completed PathwayConnect in December 2015. She is pursuing a degree in business management through BYU-Idaho’s Online Degree Program.