Sergio Peralta was nervous on his first day of school at Hendersonville High School and "felt like hiding" his hand in his sleeve.
Sergio Peralta was nervous on his first day of school at Hendersonville High School near Nashville, Tennessee. At 15 years old, he was the new kid and was particularly concerned about what his peers would think of his right hand, which had never fully formed. He wanted to hide it in his sleeve, so nobody would ever find out. However, his classmates surprised him with an unexpected gesture. Speaking to CBS News, Peralta said that on his first day of school he "honestly felt like hiding" his hand in his sleeve, "like nobody would ever find out." But his classmates, to his surprise, supported him in a way he never expected.
Attending a new school can be a difficult challenge for any student, but fortunately for one 15-year-old in Tennessee, he found a group of innovative students who changed his life. https://t.co/nzgNTr2FvV— CBS News (@CBSNews) January 26, 2023
"They changed my life," Peralta said while telling his inspiring story. Jeff Wilkins, the school's engineering teacher, had approached Peralta to let him know that his classmates were willing to help. Three students decided to use their access to online models of prostheses and a 3D printer to create a plan. After four weeks, their project was complete. They ended up offering me, like, 'We could build your prosthetic hand,' and I never expected it," Peralta told CBS News, "Like, never in a million years." Student, Leslie Jaramillo, commented on the project, noting that it captured the spirit of the engineering class they were taught. Henderson High's principal, Bob Cotter, said Peralta's prosthesis was a testament to the students' care and dedication to the program.
"You're supposed to be engineering, coming up with new ideas, solving issues," Jaramillo said. "Just making things better than how they used to be."
For the first time in his 15 years, Peralta was able to catch a baseball with his right hand - something that excited his classmates. "When I caught it for the first time, everyone started freaking out," Peralta said with a smile. "It was the first time I caught a ball with my right hand in [my] 15 years."
Sergio Peralta, who arrived at Henderson high school near Nashville during the fall, initially tried to cover up his right hand, which wasn't fully formed #tennesse #hendersonnv https://t.co/aPOTIB0dXs— THE WEEK (@TheWeekLive) January 27, 2023
The prosthesis created by Hendersonville High's students had changed Peralta's life, giving him something to be proud of. This story speaks volumes about the power of kindness and the impact it can have on people. It also tells us the importance of having a supportive network of peers, who are willing to go the extra mile to make a difference in someone’s life. Peralta’s experience is a perfect example of how small acts of kindness can have an immense impact. It was his classmates’ thoughtfulness and willingness to help that gave him the opportunity to fulfill his dream. They may not have realized it, but the prosthesis they created has given Peralta a new outlook on life.