Sweet Steps: Paralyzed UC Berkeley Student Walks to Get His Degree (VIDEO)

On May 14, Austin Whitney walked across the stage to graduate with a double major in political science and history from the University of California at Berkeley. Many kudos to him — but take a look at this video to see why Whitney’s graduation walk deserves all the more celebration:

As detailed on Good, four years ago, when Whitney was 18 years old and after he had graduated from high school in San Juan Capistrano, he lost control of his car and struck a tree after drinking with some friends. Miraculously, he was able to attend classes at UC Berkeley just ten days after a long and painful recovery.

Berkeley mechanical engineering professor Homayoon Kazerooni led a team that designed a robot exoskeleton that made it possible for Whitney to stand and walk.

As Whitney writes on his website, he plans to attend law school and hopes to work in the entertainment industry, plus:

he also is working on getting his scuba diving instructor certification and loves music festivals, social activism, wheelchair sports, the Swim With Mike Foundation, and raising money for the Wheelchair Foundation.

Huge congratulations to Austin Whitney for graduating and for much, much more!

Photo by ben.chaney.


Sheri P.
Sheri P.5 years ago

Wow! What amazing technology!

Maria S.
Maria S.5 years ago

Really inspiring. Congratulations!!!
May you succeed in all you work for.
You're a great inspiration Austin!
Thanks for posting Kristina.

Prochi T.
Prochi T.5 years ago

WoW he deserves many Green Stars of Care2

Parvez Z.
Parvez Zuberi5 years ago

Thanks for sharing it just shows that if man get determined to do some thing then he surely achieves it THREE CHEERS for this courageous young boy

Olga Leonenko
Olga Leonenko5 years ago


Norma V.
Norma Villarreal5 years ago

It got him walking across the stage...congratulations.

Tim Cheung
Tim C.5 years ago

Thanks, Kristina.

Vivianne Mosca-Clark

i am happy to see the young man working through a mistake he made.
He has courage to go on instead of 'crying in his beer'. :)

Yvonne S.
Yvonne S.5 years ago

What a remarkable young man he is. He should be extremely proud of himself.

Amy M.
Amy M.5 years ago

Congrats Austin!! So happy for him. Man, this place is full of college nuns! OK, we all know not to drink and drive; he made a mistake! I'm pretty sure his condition reminds him of his decision everyday and he doesn't need anymore self-righteous preaching from any of you. I guess if you all make a mistake in the future in which you regret, we should discount any merit you achieve in life.