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A Mom's Journey to a Degree

Flexibility was the missing piece to Lynell’s education — learn how her online degree program was a perfect fit


I am a convert to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and, as a young adult, I left college to serve a full-time mission. After I returned home, I met my husband right away and we were soon married and starting a family. I attended community college again for a while, but the time constraints and cost were too much of a strain on our family and I had to stop again without completing a degree.

the rogers family in Sunday dress
The Rogers Family

Many years later, when our oldest daughter was about to graduate from college, I felt prompted that it was time for me to complete my degree. I wasn’t sure how I would be able to return to school, since I was busy serving as Young Women’s President and still had young children at home. My husband suggested I look into BYU-Pathway Worldwide . I didn’t fully understand who BYU-Pathway was for, so I didn’t think it was right for me. However, following the promptings I felt, I looked at the website and realized I was wrong — BYU-Pathway was right for me! It was for anyone looking for a flexible way to start or return to higher education. I registered that night and started courses the following week.

For all three semesters of PathwayConnect, I drove an hour to the nearest gathering location at the time. I had a wonderful experience and, as I succeeded academically, I felt encouraged to continue. I excelled in the online learning environment, where I was able to study and do coursework when it was least disruptive to my family schedule.

Since I still have three young children at home, I was especially interested in a field where there is potential to work remotely. I earned a certificate in Web Media* and received my bachelor’s degree in December 2020. Through my degree program and internship, I learned many valuable skills in computer programming , social media marketing , web business , and graphic design . I’ve been a stay-at-home mom for many years, but now I have gained skills that are valuable to employers.

For the first time ever, I feel confident about entering the workforce because I had marketable skills.

The Rogers as a missionary couple in Washington
Lynell and her husband, John, love serving students as missionaries for BYU-Pathway.

I’ve also served as a service missionary for BYU-Pathway since October 2019. Now, my husband and I serve as missionaries together in Washington, USA. Everyone who knows us knows about BYU-Pathway Worldwide, because we’re always talking about it. One night, I visited a new sister in our ward and, although it hadn’t been my original intention, I had a great discussion with both her and her adult son about BYU-Pathway!

We have made many beloved friends in the virtual gathering group we work with, and we really enjoy that aspect of the calling. However, I would say that the greatest joy comes from teaching people about BYU-Pathway and seeing them start their journey to a degree. We feel really blessed to have been part of many people’s decision to continue their education. Our motivation is a desire to share the organization that has blessed our lives in many ways.

*The current equivalent for the Web Media certificate is the Web and Computer Programming certificate, which can be completed as part of the Applied Technology or Professional Studies bachelor’s degrees. Learn more about this certificate and others on BYU-Pathway’s degree web page .