52 year old janitor graduates from Ivy League school

May 16, 2012

Gac Filipaj fled war-torn Yugoslavia in 1992 and came to the United States landing a job as a janitor at Columbia University. He made his living cleaning bathrooms, mopping dirty floors, and taking out the trash. But it was enough to get the job done.

As an employee of the University, Filipaj did not have to pay for his classes. He took full advantage of the opportunity.  He is another example that you make your own future, you have the power to pave your own path.

His outlook on life was to live a happy, simple and honest life. He was not out looking for fame and fortune like many others. It took him 12 years to graduate, but he did it in style, graduating with honors.  That is not an easy task at an Ivy League school.

He has been helping his family back home by sending money on his janitor pay. He saved as much money as possible, not buying electronics, or even owning a cell phone.  He doesn't even own a computer!

In an interview with the Associated Press, Filipaj was humble and greatful for his tough life. It hasn't been easy, but he has no regrets in life.

"The richness is in me, in my heart and in my head, not in my pockets," said Filipaj, who is now an American citizen.

Time can only tell where the road of life will take him, but at least we know he is paving that road himself.  No one gave him anything he didn't take for himself.

I hope we can all learn from Filipaj and make the best of our own lives.

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