Karen's path led from a New York subway to more than she ever expected
Karen was lost — literally.
Months earlier, Karen and a group of her friends decided to take a trip to New York City. When Karen’s friends cancelled their plans, she was left with a non-refundable ticket and decided to visit New York alone.
While on her solo trip, Karen was overwhelmed in the city’s winding subway system. As she desperately searched her map — feeling alone, scared, and almost in tears — Chris Chintomby approached her to help. Karen was no longer lost, and she found her way to much more than she expected.
Marriage and PathwayConnect
While Chris guided Karen around New York City, he noticed her Choose the Right (CTR) ring — he, too, was a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. As the two talked about the gospel and got to know each other while strolling the streets of New York City, a friendship was formed.
“It was one in a million that he found me, and I found him,” Karen said. A year later, Chris proposed to Karen in Central Park on the Fourth of July. They were sealed in the Bountiful Utah Temple and started their life together in New York.
Finding Her Path
That day in the subway, Karen was lost in more ways than one. She was almost ready to give up on her education when she met Chris. Previously, Karen had pursued degrees in nursing, medical office assisting, floral design, early childhood education, and business administration, but she felt like she wasn’t benefiting from those programs.
“None of them fit,” she said. “Something was missing. The fire of education and knowledge that I was doing what the Lord wanted was never there. ”
It was Chris who introduced Karen to PathwayConnect. Originally from Guyana, he came to America to find better opportunities and more education. Once Chris started PathwayConnect at the New York Manhattan site, Karen realized she had also found the educational program she needed.
“He was happier with his education than I had ever been with mine,” she said. Chris’s positive experience with PathwayConnect is what motivated Karen to join the program.
Karen completed PathwayConnect in July of 2015, and she encourages others to participate in the program. “PathwayConnect is for everybody,” Karen said. “You shouldn’t be afraid of the program — you can do it because the Lord is right there with you.”
Lost and Found
PathwayConnect has given Karen the direction she needed. She enrolled in BYU-Idaho Online and plans to obtain an associate degree in business management and a bachelor’s degree in marriage and family studies. Hoping to become a family counselor for the Church, Karen said, “I knew that I had to do something that involved helping people.”
Karen’s educational journey was a struggle, but she didn’t give up until she found the right path that would lead her to where she wanted to go. Now, Karen looks back at that day in the New York subway and realizes that if she had not been lost, she would never have found what she was looking for.