Wake up with a Smile

Join our newsletter

“They Changed My Life.” Engineering Students Give New Kid A Helping Hand — Literally!

It’s never easy being the new kid in school, especially when you look a little bit different than everyone else.

Aside from the usual nervousness about not knowing anyone at Henderson High School in Tennessee, 15-year-old Sergio Peralta worried that people would pick on him for his limb difference. Sergio’s right hand didn’t form fully at birth.

“In the first days of school, I honestly felt like hiding my hand,” the sophomore admitted. “Like nobody would ever find out.”

It turns out, his fellow students were a lot more open-minded than he assumed. In fact, when the school’s engineering teacher noticed Sergio’s hand, he suggested the students in his class might be able to help him.

The school is equipped with online modeling software and a 3D printer, so the teacher suggested a real-life application that would benefit both the students and Sergio. Several engineering students eagerly began working on a prosthetic for their new classmate.

“They ended up offering me, like, ‘We could build your prosthetic hand,’ and I never expected it,” said Sergio. “Like, never in a million years.”

Students worked with Sergio to get the prosthetic right, and when it was finished, it exceeded all expectations. Sergio was now able to catch a baseball in his right hand for the first time in his entire life.

“When I caught it for the first time, everyone started freaking out because it was the first time I caught a ball in my right hand in 15 years,” the teen recalled.

Beyond the practicality of having a useful prosthetic, Sergio felt something even more powerful: He fit in. Rather than being ridiculed for his difference, he was celebrated and assisted.

“They changed my life,” said the grateful teen.

Talk about a warm welcome! We’d say Sergio has made new friends for life in these helpful students. We love to see young people who are so accepting and willing to help others, don’t you?

Share this story to celebrate our differences.

Want to be happier in just 5 minutes a day? Sign up for Morning Smile and join over 455,000+ people who start each day with good news.