Moment: Perpetual Education Fund “Will Change Everything”
Contributed By By Marianne Holman, Church News staff writer
The Perpetual Education Fund is helping Church members throughout the world obtain an education and find a place in the workforce. One PEF participant, Claudia Constanza Hernandez Pacheco of Chile said that her involvement has been an answer to her prayers.
“When President Gordon B. Hinckley mentioned the Perpetual Education Fund in a conference address, I felt an electric tingling all over my body and thought to myself, ‘This is an answer to my prayers!’
“After serving a mission in La Paz, Bolivia, I really wanted to go to college, but my parents were divorced and I lived with my dad, who was too poor to help me. When I was accepted into the PEF program, I felt so blessed.
“The way the PEF program works is amazing: members of the Church contribute funds to help those who want an education and those who receive loans pay them back so others can benefit. The PEF helped me pay for my education and I wanted to pay back my loan as soon as I could to help the next person and the next.
“I know that the money I received is sacred and I am so grateful for a visionary prophet who had concern for the members of the Church. I am grateful to the inspired PEF program for helping us to become better educated and allowing us to help those who will come after us.”
Frank Queli Muñoz, one of the first PEF loan recipients in the Dominican Republic, is working and attending school to become a certified systems engineer. While doing this, he continues to serve his family and the Church.
“Without the Perpetual Education Fund, I wouldn’t be able to improve my economic situation,” he said. “I am studying computer networking and the course costs a lot of money. Think about it. There are thousands of young people like me who want to progress, but don’t have the opportunity, who can’t go forward because they don’t have a way. I feel like it is a blessing from God to be able to be self-sufficient, to be able to help my mom and my dad and the family I will start someday.
“This will change everything,” he said. “There is no more a wall in front of us, but an open door. We are walking through and we will not look back.”