Filipacchi grew up in a peasant family in the former Yugoslavia. Because of poverty, he had to quit school early to help his parents with farm work, but he never gave up studying.
When he was 18, Filipach signed up for a self-study class at Belgrade Law School, which required no attendance, only attendance for exams. Filipacchi began to work and study. Every time he took an exam, he had to travel eight hours by train to sit it and then return home to help. Although Filipach studied hard, the years of war in the former Yugoslavia and the busy work schedule in the countryside made it impossible for Filipach to finish school.
To pursue his dream, Filipach left his war-torn homeland for the United States in 1992, taking all of his savings, and saying goodbye to his parents and brothers. Upon arriving in the United States, Filipach knew little English and took a relatively language-free job sweeping floors at an elementary school. One time, a teacher suggested that he get a job at Columbia University so that he could take classes for free, because Columbia was an Ivy League university after Harvard, Princeton, and Yale, and the tuition was expensive, but it had a very good policy of allowing all the staff of the university to attend classes for free.
Philippa, after hearing the news, excitedly went to Columbia University want to find a job, but did not have any job vacancies at the university at that time, to create opportunities for herself, Philippa went to buy a broom, outside the school cleaning every day, so that he will soon give you the impression. A month later, Filipach got an interview with the university's human resources department and was officially hired as a full-time cleaner at Columbia.
To attend classes, he had to learn English first. Filipacchi used his salary to buy a large number of books and video and audio materials and began to learn English by himself in his spare time. After seven years of hard work, Filipach finally laid a good foundation in English. In 2000, Filipach enrolled in the American College of General Education to consolidate his basic knowledge and graduated three years later. By this time, Filipach became proficient in English and began a long period of "mooching".
On the curriculum, Filipach chose what is almost the most difficult "classics major." There were core subjects that had to be completed to take the course, and the difference in time and effort between Filipach and his younger classmates was stark. Every day, Filipach takes classes in the morning and cleans and dumps garbage from 2:30 p.m. to 11 p.m. After work, he returns to his residence to study, which is a tight schedule. Filipacchi was not eager to succeed, but took only one or two courses a semester, and worked diligently to complete all his credits.
The income of a janitor is very limited, and Filipach has been offered several higher-paying jobs as he has spent more time in the United States, but he has not considered looking for another job because he does not want to give up the opportunity to study for free. Philippazzi felt that even though she was just a dustman with a broom at Columbia, she also had a valuable learning opportunity. Because of this, Filipach's academic record has been very good. Although all the professors and students knew that he was the school cleaner, they were surprised to see him with a broom. Filipacchi himself, however, always chuckled indifference, not at all ashamed of the broom in his hand.
In this way, after 19 years of hard work, Filipach finally passed the exam on May 13, 2012, with good grades. Filipacchi took two days off to attend the school's graduation ceremony, and then went back to work. Columbia University is proud to have such a student and holds Filipach up as a positive example to inspire others, but Filipach says his dream is only half fulfilled because he will go on to earn his master's and doctoral degrees.
After the ceremony, Filipach was asked by US media if he would look for a better job in the future. He replied: "It would be nice if there was a better job, but I'm not going to look for it, because for a man with a dream, a broom is enough to dance a wonderful life!"