DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – When students at the University of Texas at Dallas cross the graduation stage this week, they will mark a milestone in their lives.
One of those students is a testament that goals can be achieved — at any age.
At 84-years-old, Janet Fein has already lived an accomplished life. Through family: “I was 19 when I got married,” she says.
Career: “I worked for Scottish Rite hospital for 20 years.” And education: “This is my degree from Richland College,” she says, proudly showing her degree.
But with each decade in life passing by, one often thinks more and more about unfinished business.
Fein’s goal has always been to earn the highest degree she could hold.
“I figured why not,” she says.
She had the associate’s degree. This mother of five and grandmother of eight who retired at age 77 decided to now try for a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology.
The octogenarian enrolled at UT Dallas and found her place alongside other students.
“I always had my walker so I had to sit in first row.” Fein said. “They accepted me as one of the crowd,” Fein recalls.
With a walker and an oxygen tank, getting there has not been easy.
This summer Fein switched to classes online so she could finish her degree. She works from her computer at an assisted living home.
She types her papers with one hand — never giving up on her goal.
“The longest paper was 15 pages,” Fein says. “I felt like I was successful enough to keep on going.”
On Wednesday, she’ll will join her classmates for the 2018 Fall Commencement ceremony. Her family will be in the crowd of loved ones, eyes fixed on the stage.
“I’m going to be pushed in a wheelchair,” Fein says, explaining she’ll be up on stage to accept her diploma.
That will be the moment she attains what she set out to achieve.
“You can do it. You can do it if you keep working at it. Have a goal, find that goal and finish it,” Fein says.
Janet Fine says she may not yet be finished with her education: after graduating on Wednesday with her bachelor’s degree, she says she make take more classes and go for a minor in political science.