Dogwood students enjoyed an inspiring visit from GMSD alumni, Riley Toll. Riley is currently a freshmen at UT where she is studying engineering. She is an active student who was on the HHS pom team, in the Honors Academy, and she loves to wakeboard. She encouraged the DES 4th and 5th graders that nothing is too hard for them even if they have to find their own way to conquer challenges. Riley knows all about this because she was born with a limb difference.
One day Riley wants to have a job designing prosthetic limbs. She even brought some of her former “helper hands”. She shared that, “I have outgrown these hands just like you all outgrow your shoes.” In the Makers Club at UT, Riley designed herself another prosthetic hand using the 3D printer. It is made up of five parts. The difference is the other hands that she had used were passive prosthetics, but this creation can function. She demonstrated to the students how by bending her elbow the hand can pick up things.
Riley ended her talk at Dogwood by reminding students that we are all different. She encouraged students by saying, “You should never give up on yourselves when pursuing anything you want to do. I have known that I have wanted to make prosthetics since I was in middle school.” DES is so proud of Riley as she is an example of a student chasing her dreams to make the world better with STEM.