This 48-year-old is the definition of what it means to defy all odds.

In December 2023, Jean Tchinda earned a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering, according to The Dallas Morning News. However, the Cameroonian engineer faced a rocky road to reach the milestone.

The outlet details that during his upbringing in Cameroon he wanted to be a doctor, but his family was unable to pay for him to attend medical school. Fast forward to 2018, he and his wife and daughters emigrated from their home country to Dallas, TX. Upon his arrival, Tchinda was on the search for employment but realized he needed to learn English.

To overcome the barrier, Tchinda attended Richland College and went on to take science courses by the following year. Then, he earned an associate degree in electrical engineering.

Finding success at Richland College led Tchinda to attend University of Texas at Dallas to pursue a bachelor’s degree.

“University in the USA is very difficult, but at UTD, everybody was there for me,” Tchinda told the outlet. “Whenever I said ‘Oh, I cannot do that.’ They said, ‘No, you cannot say that. You gotta do it. Try your best.’”

Despite balancing classes and homework with working at night as a maintenance technician at an aerospace company while taking care of his family and running on barely any sleep, Tchinda was able to earn his electrical engineering degree.

“It’s been a long journey,” said Emmanuelle, his daughter. “Five years seeing him staying up day and night working. He literally didn’t have time to do anything else.”

She added, “But now that he’s in his cap and gown, I’m super proud of him.”

While Emmanuelle hopes to become a neurosurgeon one day, Tchinda’s eldest daughter, Andrea, is studying computer science at Harvard University. The two sisters shared that their father is one of their role models.

Tchinda hopes that receiving his degree at age 48 is a reminder that age is nothing but a number.

“Your age is not going to be a limitation for you,” he said.