Technology has helped a young graduate fulfill one of his dreams.
Seven years ago, Khalil Watson was shot, which resulted in a spinal cord injury leaving him paralyzed, NBC12 reports. The tragic event left Watson in a hospital bed watching his high school graduation instead of attending in person.
“Not being able to graduate physically was hard for me to deal with, but being able to still attend virtually is what made things a lot easier,” Watson said, according to the outlet.
Now, after having to relearn everything, including breathing on his own, the 25-year-old has crossed a milestone off his list.
Watson graduated from Reynolds Community College with an associate’s degree.
For this graduation, he was able to walk across the stage while wearing a robotic exoskeleton.
Before the big day, Watson practiced his walk for over two weeks using the technology and the support of therapists from the Sheltering Arms Institute.
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To reach his goals, he had to balance regaining his mobility and independence while keeping his head in the books.
The Virginia native hopes that persevering past trials and tribulations and his circumstances to pursue his education will prove that “anything is possible.”
“I did this for God, myself, friends, my family,” he shared. “I mean if people only knew how I got to this point.”
Watson received his associate’s degree in pre-social work.
The new graduate is set to further his academic career by transferring to Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) to earn his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in social work, the outlet details.
“I have a passion for helping others, and after going through the things that I have experienced, I feel like I’ll be easy to connect with and understand individuals who have similar or worse situations,” Watson said.