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Give Yourself a Chance

Jori Peña didn’t know how to support her family until BYU-Pathway renewed her love for learning

Jori Peña and her family

Jori Peña from Arizona, USA, had one year of college and no job experience when she got divorced. Needing to support her family, she desperately searched for a solution.

A change in direction

After quickly getting her esthetician license, Jori still didn’t know if that would be enough to support her family. Previously, she'd felt uneasy about going back to school in her mid-forties, but then she felt prompted to give herself a chance with BYU-Pathway Worldwide .

“I had started to think, ‘Maybe I am worth this, maybe I deserve to do this,’ and I had the courage to follow through,” Jori said.

Despite having to adapt to online education, she loved all she was learning.

A woman completes schoolwork with a baby on her lap.
Jori often did homework with a grandchild on her lap.

Accepting challenges and finding support

Going back to school was an adjustment for both Jori and her four kids. They became so tight-knit that it was hard at times to balance her attention between them and her studies. Jori recalled family vacations when her kids were relaxing or playing games and she was in the other room completing assignments.

Though it was challenging, her kids supported her. When Jori met her current husband, he and her new stepchildren joined in cheering her on. Jori’s love for her family and learning helped her complete even the hardest of assignments. In fact, on a typical day, you could probably find Jori working on her homework while one of her grandchildren sits on her lap.

Changing through Christ

BYU-Pathway taught Jori what it meant to involve the Lord in everything — her school, work, and personal life. When things got hard, she had to learn to be humble enough to accept His help.

“[BYU-Pathway's] changed my relationship with Christ, the way I see Him, trust Him, and lean on Him," she said. "There's so much more depth to my relationship with Him because of BYU-Pathway.”

“BYU-Pathway is not just an education; it’s changed me."

Continuing her passion

As her undergraduate degree in family and human services comes to a close, Jori isn’t done learning. She plans to apply for graduate programs in marriage and family therapy! She's grateful for the opportunities BYU-Pathway has given her and is excited about this next step.

“You're going to look back and realize that it's all for your growth and for helping you become better.”