Mr Lee Sheng Loong, a 46-year-old part-time Nanyang Polytechnic (NYP) student, is one step away from finishing his course in infocomm and digital media.
Getting this far and doing well with a perfect grade point average is extra special for Mr Lee, who has had to fight many battles, including physical and mental health difficulties, and financial and work problems, to earn a diploma.
He had to put his poly studies on hold in 2014 for surgery to remove parts of his liver, and undergo gastric bypass, a procedure to reduce his stomach size and control diabetes.
"My motivation is to constantly upgrade myself to be relevant in industry," said Mr Lee, a technical engineer who is married to a nurse.
In 1988, he took up a quantity survey course at Singapore Polytechnic, but had to withdraw three months later because his family could not afford it after his father's construction business failed.
Since then, he has held several jobs in the information technology industry, starting out as a technician and later becoming a systems engineer.
But then he was hit with health issues which resulted in him leaving his job in 2010.
I have to read through notes at least five times, read material online, watch videos and do research. I didn't do well in my studies in my younger days. Now I want to do my best, so I'm determined and persistent about my learning.
MR LEE SHENG LOONG, on having to put a lot of effort into his studies.
He went back to school and in 2013, graduated from the Institute of Technical Education as its top student in the network security technology higher Nitec course.
He then moved on to NYP, but had to delay his studies in 2014 by half a year for his operation.
"I'm not like those intelligent students so I have to put in a lot of effort," he said. "I have to read through notes at least five times, read material online, watch videos and do research.
"I didn't do well in my studies in my younger days. Now I want to do my best, so I'm determined and persistent about my learning."