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Milford engineering students help girls with disabilities get around

Posted at 4:30 AM, Apr 19, 2018
and last updated 2018-04-19 07:53:42-04

MILFORD, Ohio -- A program called Project Lead the Way is changing lives at Milford High School, one family at a time.

Five-year-old Kyra Perry and her twin sisters, Jocelyn and Brynlee, all live with a genetic condition called Joubert Syndrome, which limits their muscle development and subsequently their physical mobility.

When their family approached a Milford engineering class with a request to help the girls get around, the students knew they had to take it.

"They came to us stating they needed a vehicle they could use to go outside," senior Manny Fernandez said. 

Fernandez is one of five seniors on the school’s engineering team. With the guidance of their teacher, Peter Leeper, the team outfitted a toy car with special seats, a mode that adjusts speed and a joystick for navigation. 

Leeper said each team member had different roles in constructing the car. 

“It’s awesome because as a teacher you’re always looking for meaningful engagement,” Leeper said. “It doesn’t get much better than this.”

Garrett Turner, Nicholas Snow, Brian Wang and Connor Hart are the other masterminds behind the mobile machine.

Wang said he enjoyed applying what he learned in class to create something meaningful for a family in need. 

For Hart, his favorite aspect was helping the kids be kids. 

“I just love watching the kids smile and use the work that we’ve done,” Hart said.

The girls’ mother, Kristin May, said the vehicle allows the kids to move in ways they wouldn’t be able to otherwise. 

“One of the biggest fears for us is them not being able to get around and interact with their peers, obviously the low muscle tone sets them back, but having this they can pretty much do anything a typical child can do, so it’s very exciting for us,” May said.