After 10 years of hard work and determination, an 80-year-old grandmother was finally awarded her college degree in social science on Friday.
Yasuko Fujii, a Japanese immigrant who came to the United States in the mid-1960s, waited nearly 60 years to get her college degree. According to CBS8, Fuji had to to put her education on hold in order to raise her family.
It took Fuji 10 years to finish her college studies. She began attending school again at Mesa College after her husband passed away. Fuji then transferred to SDSU two years ago.
“I feel so great! [In the] back of my mind, [I] always wanted to finish,” she told reporters.
Fuji’s path to success was not a smooth ride. It turns out that she faced several obstacles along the way, especially when it came to modern technology. Luckily, her 3-year-old granddaughter, Lisbon Zeigler, helped her overcome this problem.
“She was great help and smart,” Fuji said. “Anyone can do it. If I’m from a foreign country, the native people can do it. Never be too late.”
Yuki Zeigler, Fuji’s daughter, shares how her mother was determined to finish her degree.
“She would wake up at two in the morning. She would start studying and she would be out the door at seven in the morning. [She] Truly is an inspiration for everyone. If anyone was going to do it, it was going to be her,” she said.
“I had no idea that we were contemporaries because she would laugh at all my old jokes,” Fuji’s professor, Dr. Susan Federman, PhD., a sociology lecturer in SDSU, said.
Fuji, who is the oldest graduate at the ceremony, expressed her plans to open up a business.
“Anything you put your mind to, you can accomplish,” the elderly woman said.
Featured image screenshot via YouTube / CBS 8 San Diego