Sometimes there’s a story that makes you realize that the kids are going to be alright. During the first days that Sergio Peralta attended his new school, Hendersonville High School in Tennessee, he felt nervous. He had a secret that he felt embarrassed about: his hand had never fully formed, and his disability kept him from doing things that most fifteen-year-olds find easy, like catching a baseball.
“As I was growing up, like during my first years of school, I had a lot of people asked me what’s wrong with … my hand, lots of people, and I used to just say even in kindergarten, ‘I was born like that,’” the 15-year-old Sergio said to the local news.
“‘In the first days of school, I honestly felt like hiding my hand,’ he told CBS News. “Like nobody would ever find out.”
A teacher in the school’s engineering program did find out, though, and told Peralta that his classmates might be able to help out.
‘They ended up offering me, like, ‘We could build your prosthetic hand’, and I never expected it,” he said. ‘Like, never in a million years.’
With access to online models and a 3D printer, the group — which didn’t even know if their plan would work — hit a home run. Using the prosthetic, Peralta was able to catch a baseball with his right hand for the first time.”
The CBS segment about Sergio’s hand showed the students at work.
When 15-year-old Sergio Peralta started a new school, he tried to hide the fact that he was born with a hand that didn't fully form. But when a teacher in the high school engineering program found out, a few students came up with a life-changing idea. pic.twitter.com/57YlSZA2TR
— CBS Evening News (@CBSEveningNews) January 26, 2023
Henderson student Leslie Jaramillio believes that the class project “embodied the spirit of their school’s engineering class.” She said, “You’re supposed to be engineering, coming up with new ideas, solving issues.”
The school’s principal, Bob Cotter, couldn’t be more proud of the students. He told the BBC, “Jeff Wilkins’ class, Engineering: Design and Development, was designed to take the theoretical “and turn it into reality.”
He noted that Sergio’s new robotic hand “is a testament to the students we have here who care about each other and the program that Jeff Wilkins has built.”
Sergio says they changed his friends changed his life. What an amazing way to help out a fellow student.
Like I said, the kids are going to be alright.